This coming Tuesday, DA Mike Nifong heads to court to stand trial on ethics charges stemming from the Duke University Lacrosse Rape case scandal. Mike Nifong faces the NC State Bar this coming week to save his reputation and his ability to practice law. Nifong’s reputation has certainly been tarnished as we would later learn all of the mis-steps and ethically challenged decisions that he made as the Duke Lacrosse rape case crumpled before our very eyes. The question does remain though, will the NC State Bar just gloss over Nifong’s actions as State Bar’s have done all too often in the past? Will they protect one of their own and just give a slap on the wrist, if anything? Or will they actually serve the public and make an example out of Nifong and his actions? We shall see.
… the Durham County district attorney will stand trial on ethics charges ranging from lying to the court to withholding potentially exculpatory evidence.
“On one hand, he’s very anxious to go ahead and have the hearing so he can present the evidence about the allegations against him,” said David Freedman, one of Nifong’s two attorneys. “On the other hand, it’s an extremely stressful situation for any lawyer to go through, especially at this level and profile.”
If Nifong is acquitted, the case will have still taken a devastating toll on the career public servant who joined the Durham County prosecutor’s office as a volunteer in 1978 after graduating from law school. He is all but assured to be remembered for pursuing a deeply flawed case with unyielding vigor while portraying himself as a crusader against privilege and racism at an elite private university. (Winston-Salem Journal)
The trial of the disciplinary action brought by the NC State Bar against Michael B. Nifong relating to his conduct in the Duke lacrosse case will be held in the courtroom of the North Carolina Court of Appeals (One West Morgan Street, Raleigh, NC) beginning on Tuesday morning, June 12, 2007, at 10:00 a.m.
Hearing on Nifong a test for State Bar
The N.C. State Bar, the state agency that licenses and disciplines lawyers, will be on a symbolic trial for its own spotty history of effective oversight.
“I hope everybody is watching the State Bar,” said state Sen. Tony Rand, a lawyer and the Fayetteville Democrat who is the Senate majority leader. “It’s exceedingly important that they believe the agency that regulates the practicing bar is serious about ethical and misconduct cases.”
The State Bar has disbarred about 170 lawyers since 1996. But never has an N.C. prosecutor been deprived of the ability to practice law, even for a single day, because of prosecutorial misconduct. (The Charlotte Observer)
Duke Lacrosse may have lost this afternoon, but their was more gained in defeat. As the MSM focused on the Duke – Johns Hopkins match up to proclaim a story book finish, a greater and more special story took place in Long Island, NY. Sgt. Jimmy Regan, 26, who joined the armed services following 9–11 was honored. A true American hero.
The brass bell tolled 37 times — once for each of the Special Operations soldiers who died in Iraq during the past year — after their names were added to a memorial wall at Fort Bragg.
One soldier honored at Thursday’s ceremony was Sgt. Jimmy Regan, 26, a 2002 Duke University economics graduate and lacrosse player from Manhasset, N.Y.
“It’s a special day. It’s very good closure for the family,” said his father, James Regan. “He was raised a patriot.” (Fox)
This type of selfless service is was is praised today and should never be forgotten the other 364 days of the year. Let us never forget what is truly important. It is not sporting events or those that the media wishes to make heros of even though they are partially at fault for their circumstances. It is about true heros … like Jimmy Regan. Duke alumni and all Americans can be proud of a guy like this. God bless and thank you for your service.
The younger Regan served double tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq, earning a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart and several other medals. He was killed by a roadside bomb on Feb. 9. (NewsDay)
This afternoon in the 2007 NCAA Lacrosse championship game Duke lost 12–11 to perennial power house Johns Hopkins. In a way I am happy that this outcome was not the “story book” ending that the MSM so wanted for a couple of reasons. One, many in the MSM have forgotten that although Duke and its players were handed a raw deal from DA Nifong, they were guilty of behaving badly. Duke lacrosse had quite the reputation on campus which made it more than possible in many students minds that they false allegations made could be true. Also, the fact that even though there was under age drinking and the hiring of strippers, former coach Mike Pressler did nothing to suspend or sanction players.
However, the reason why I am happy that Duke lost is that its players will have learned a greater lesson than in victory. The Duke second have comeback from a 10–4 halftime deficit to tie the game at 11 was a true gut check and character builder. Duke and all their supporters should be proud of the effort put forth by the Blue Devils. It is a proven fact that greater lessons are learned in loss than they are in victory. The lesson learned is carved in granite because of bitter emotional loss.
A Duke victory would have meant another MSM circus doing interviews with players and coaches that this some how meant vindication for what they had all gone through. Forgetting the fact that the Duke program was not completely innocent. The false allegation charges against Duke lacrosse acted as a wake up call to get their act in order and straighten up. Trust me Duke … you earned more respect today in loss than you would have in any victory.
As anticipated, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper will drop all charges against the three Duke Lacrosse players. This ordeal looks like it is finally over; however, this case did not have a chance for quite some time. It was all a matter of how to end it. Now we look to the future for the law suits filed by the accused.
The three players, Reade Seligmann, David Evans and Collin Finnerty, were facing charges of first degree kidnapping and first degree forcible sexual offense. The charges stem from an off-campus party on the night of March 13, 2006.
Special prosecutors from the Attorney General’s office took over the case after Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong recused himself in January, citing charges of unethical conduct filed against him by the North Carolina Bar. Since then, Jim Coman and Mary Winstead have examined the case from scratch, interviewing key witnesses and working through reams of evidence.
The reasons that will be cited for the dismissal are not yet known, though the case has been riddled with criticism and colored by controversy since its early months. Defense attorneys released documents showing the accuser changed key details of her story in the weeks and months after the alleged assault. (ABC News)
What a travesty of justice this case was for both rape victims and the accused for the future. Nifong should be ashamed of himself. Nifong has harmed both victims and accused in rape cases for the future. All in what can only be seen as on all appearances as for political reasons. What a mess.
Decision in Duke lacrosse case awaited
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Three members of Duke University’s lacrosse team could learn as early as Wednesday whether state prosecutors will drop the remaining charges accusing them of sexually assaulting a stripper at a team party more than a year ago.
Red State: “Where do I go to get my reputation back?”
UPDATE I: Prosecutors Drop Charges in Duke Case
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Prosecutors dropped all charges Wednesday against the three Duke lacrosse players accused of sexually assaulting a stripper at a party, saying the athletes were innocent victims of a “tragic rush to accuse” by an overreaching district attorney.
Attorney General Roy Cooper, whose office took over the case in January after District Attorney Mike Nifong was accused of ethics violations in his handling of it, announced Wednesday afternoon that case shows clearly insufficient evidence.
“The result is these cases are over,” Cooper said.
Barack, what took you so long? Did the polling come back that it was a political winner to ask for an investigation into Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong? Its about time, its not like the Duke Lacrosse rape case has been spiralling out of control for months. Welcome to the party pal, better late than never.
Another voice has joined the call for a federal investigation into the handling of the Duke Lacrosse case — this one with the punch of presidential politics.
Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., in a written response to a constituent, said that an “independent inquiry is needed” into the conduct of Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong.
Will All Charges Against Duke Lacrosse Players, Collin Finnerty, Dave Evans and Reade Seligmann be Dropped Soon?
According to Inside Lacrosse Magazine and Paul Caulfield, all pending charges against the three Duke Lacrosse players, Collin Finnerty, Dave Evans and Reade Seligmann will be dropped as per inside sources to the case.
“There is no case here and they will be hearing a dismissal in the coming days,” Caulfield told FOX News.
This case has been a judicial folly from the outset. When dealing with such accusations of rape, it is so important to protect and respect the rights of both victim and and the accused. Discounting either only damages all future rape cases.
Following the one year anniversary of the Duke Lacrosse rape scandal, debacle, saga … the accuser is not answering “key” questions for the new prosecutor. What a surprise? Will we ever get all the answers as to what did or did not happen that evening?
The accuser has met at least twice with prosecutors from the North Carolina attorney general’s office, which took over the case from Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong in January.
In those interviews, she gave incomplete answers when asked about the alleged assault and the events surrounding it, according to sources. (ABC News)
Read the full 4 page article at ABC News.
- Duke Lacrosse Case – Nifong’s Actions Revisited
Standard Podcast [2:46m]: Download
Its bad when the public has become confused regarding the facts of the Duke Lacrosse rape case and changes its mind; however, its terrible when grand jury members are puzzled, doubtful and express regrets …, that’s troubling. Two grand jury members spoke with ABC’s “Good Morning America.” The question is, would they have still voted for an indictment today?
Vote, should charges have been brought against the players?
When asked whether he would have made the same decision today to indict lacrosse players Collin Finnerty, Reade Seligmann and David Evans, the first grand juror said he had second thoughts.
“Knowing what I know now and all that’s been broadcast on the news and in media, I think I would have definitely … made a different decision,” he said to ABC News.
It looks like the case against Mike Nifong has gotten a good deal stronger in the face of tougher ethics charges brought by the North Carolina Bar Association. If these charges are true, and the look like they will be by corroborating evidence brought by those involved, Nifong deserves the harshest of sentences himself. He has abused the trust of the people of Durham and should pay.
The North Carolina Bar filed an amended complaint today, accusing Nifong of withholding DNA evidence from the defense and making misrepresentations to the presiding judge in the case.
The bar has accused Nifong of conduct that involves “dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.” Nifong also allegedly violated a rule that “prohibits an attorney from knowingly making false statements of material fact.”
Previously, Nifong had been charged with making inappropriate and potentially prejudicial comments about the sexual assault case against Duke lacrosse players. Nifong’s comments were made in a series of public interviews early in the case. via ABC News
The sad story of Michael Nifong looks like it is taking the final turn as he asks the North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper to have his office take over the prosecution of the remaining charges against the Duke lacrosse players. Combined with a scathing 60 Minutes episode that die to air on Sunday night, Nifong is in a terrible box after his ill conceived decisions on the case.
… spokeswoman for Roy Cooper, North Carolina’s attorney general, confirmed that the office had received Mr. Nifong’s request and said it would be discussed on Saturday. If Mr. Cooper agrees to review the case, it will remove a prosecutor who has become a lightning rod for fierce and unrelenting criticism.
Defense lawyers were jubilant, openly predicting that no prosecutor in the state would continue with a case that hangs almost entirely on the shifting accounts of the alleged victim, a stripper who claims she was assaulted after performing at a team party in March. The woman, who was consulted before Friday’s recusal, remained firm in her desire for the case to go forward against the three former lacrosse players, an official involved in the case said. via the NY Times
60 Minutes is airing a show exposing in the first person some of the mistakes that Nifong made in this case, including candid talks with Dr. Brian Meehan the forensic expert who did not disclose pertinent DNA evidence.