June 17, 2007

Prosecutor in Duke Case Disbarred by Ethics Panel:

posted by tommytrump to general at 09:23 AM - 28 comments

If I were one of the guys harassed by the prosecutor and it were at all possible I would sue his miserable ass for all he has and will ever have. His deliberate lies and refusal to believe the evidence presented to him were nothing short of criminal. At bare minimum he needs to spend some time in the slammer.

posted by Ironhead at 10:05 AM on June 17, 2007

The first question that comes to mind is, "at this point, is this story's core actually sports related anymore or is it going to cause a 100 comment thread of argument about class, race and judicial impropriety?"

posted by jerseygirl at 10:07 AM on June 17, 2007

I pick door number 2.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 11:28 AM on June 17, 2007

Other articles on the same story indicate that the families of the lacrosse players will seek to bring criminal charges against Mr. Nifong next week. That will be nice if they succeed. As far as a civil settlement, I think that sovereign immunity gets in the way of their seeking relief from either the county or the state. There is a chance for a case against Mr. Nifong personally, but other than any profits from his forthcoming book (bet me that there won't be one), there is really nothing there to be recovered. If it's money they want, the families have their best shot at Duke. If there's someone out there who knows North Carolina law, I'd like to hear if my guesses are anywhere near correct.

posted by Howard_T at 12:16 PM on June 17, 2007

The way this case was prosecuted, by the D.A. and the media, put sports on trial. People wanted to believe the worst of these players and suggested their participation in a team sport made them more likely to be guilty. For these reasons, and the D.A.'s complete fall from grace, I think we should entertain the subject on SportsFilter. At least one last time.

posted by rcade at 12:40 PM on June 17, 2007

White,rich,and Southern.Throw in sex and its no wonder Duke emerges as one of the most hated schools in America.(Of course the fact that they're damn good in b'ball doesn't hurt.)

posted by sickleguy at 01:03 PM on June 17, 2007

put sports on trial. People wanted to believe the worst of these players and suggested their participation in a team sport made them more likely to be guilty. Very true. Not to justify or excuse the rush to judgment, but overall the NCAA's teams and athletic departments have not been great on this kind of thing over the past twenty years or more, so it's not surprising that the media jumped on that as the initial angle.

posted by psmealey at 05:15 PM on June 17, 2007

Is this as relevant to sports as, say, who's going to make the All Star game or win the U.S. Open? Of course not. On the other hand, we constantly discuss athletes getting special treatment (or getting shafted) in their dealings with the law. Like it or not, what Nifong did had a huge effect on several athletes and their sports program. I think that means that seeing how it all plays out is every bit as relevant as whether or not John Q. Public would be in jail for what "Athlete A" did, or if a particular cop was in the right when he shot "Athlete B". The debate wouldn't be so bad if it would remain civil...but we all know from experience that it's not likely to turn out that way.

posted by ctal1999 at 05:55 PM on June 17, 2007

so it's not surprising that the media jumped on that the Reverend Al Sharpton didnt help either. Havent heard from him in awhile about this matter...Oh well, I guess to him the truth doesnt matter, just getting his face on TV seems to be what really counts.

posted by dezznutz at 08:29 PM on June 17, 2007

Was it their participation in a team sport that made people believe they were more likely to be guilty, or the fact that the sport in question is/was Lacrosse?

posted by MW12 at 04:09 PM on June 18, 2007

One part of this story that is relevant to sport in general is the way the faculty at Duke was so quick to condemn the kids and the team. I work on athletic field irrigation systems and am around athletics on the high school and college levels all the time. I have observed over the years that education professionals, especially the main office bureaucrat type, detest athletics and would like nothing better than to see it removed from the schools altogether. Not every single one, but a bunch of them. Same thing with the arts. They see these as a waste of time and money that could be better used teaching them some more math that 99% will never use again after college. Hell, the only time I ever needed a cosine was on my first car loan when I got out of the army and my dad did it for me.

posted by gradioc at 05:51 PM on June 18, 2007

I guess I'll never understand why these guys from Duke are treated like victims. Pro athletes are wrongfully accused all the time. Then when the truth is exposed, and they are still thought to be guilty anyway (by some). These guys were partying with strippers and not once have I read a 'wrong place, wrong time, so that's what they get' comment. You know, just like the ones that are given to pro athletes. If this was Pacman Jones, this would be counted as just another 'run in with police'. Like the one they have currently "Pacman didn't shoot anyone, he doesn't know who got shot, in fact he wasn't even there, however we still want to talk to him". Some of you act as if the police kicked in the door on the Duke party, thought they saw a rape going on, and shot 1 of these guys for reaching for their waistband. I guess my point is, does anyone know what is going on with the cop that shot an unarmed Foley?....I didn't think so. But here we are with our 5th "they didn't do it thread" for the guys from Duke. the Reverend Al Sharpton didnt help either. Riiiight. You know his word is law around the Duke campus. WTF, even when a white guy is guilty, they still have to find a black man to pin it on.

posted by Bishop at 12:18 AM on June 19, 2007

I say Bishop's right! Those Duke boys are rich and white, so in the interest of social justice, it's only right that they got railroaded. After all, they had the audacity to be at a college party with **GASP** strippers and booze. God knows none of US would ever be at a party with strippers and alcohol, so I say those degenerates are damned lucky that the cops didn't bust in and shoot 'em all. As for Pacman, right on, Bishop. We all know that if he'd been involved, pesky little facts like a total lack of anything resembling his DNA in the samples and video evidence that he was using an ATM somewhere else while the events were supposed to be happening wouldn't even enter into the equation. He'd be cooling his heels in a cell next to OJ...er, wait...no. Anyway, the point is that he'd fry...not, sure how, but he would. Finally, get the hell off the Reverend Al. He's a VERY angry man, and with good reason. Just ask him. He can find all sorts of reasons for being indignant. Some are even valid, so HOW DARE YOU fault him for spouting off and further inflamming an already racially charged situation when he doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground concerning the issue? His fully understandable attitude is "She's black, so I've got her back. I don't care if she's the damned Antichrist.", so why would anyone feel justified in expecting an apology? Seriously Bishop, I get where you're coming from. There's been a hell of a lot of injustice heaped on African Americans, and that hasn't ended just because we're in the 21st century. It's wrong, and it makes me sick. If your comment tended to be in the vein of "See? This kind of shit has been happening to blacks since before there even was a United States. Doesn't feel too good, does it? We need to fight this kind of lunacy whenever we see it.", I'd have a lot more sympathy for your position. Hell, I'd be standing shoulder to shoulder with you. At least in a lot of your previous posts, you've argued that there are gray areas in things like the Foley case (which is an entirely valid point, rooted in a healthy and understandable skepticism). The problem is that there's virtually no gray area on this one and your post leaves the impression that you're wallowing at least a little bit in "getting some back" when the opportunity presents itself. There's something to be said for sangfroid when karma catches up with a particularly heinous individual, but it's harder to defend when it's directed at an entire race. Maybe that's not really how you feel, but you certainly leave that impression.

posted by ctal1999 at 02:27 AM on June 19, 2007

Sorry. It dawned on me after the last post that I'd used the word "sangfroid" when I meant "schadenfreud". Ooops!

posted by ctal1999 at 03:39 AM on June 19, 2007

/watches thread fall down the tubes

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 06:51 AM on June 19, 2007

I agree with Bishop. Sure, the DA acted the fool and created a media frenzy without facts to justify his behavior. The utter shock and dismay and the sheer amount of press coverage that this story has been met with is laughable. Someone is accused of a crime that they didn't do? So what, that's how the justice system works. Did these guys get convicted of anything? Nope. Did these guys spend any time in jail? Nope. But, oh the horror, they lost a whole entire season of playing lacrosse. Never fear, the NCAA gave them back their eligibility for that lost time anyway. The fallout from this case has been a pretty obvious example of white privilege to me. Prosecutors hide exculpatory evidence that puts people in prison and don't end up disbarred. The NY Times has been covering this story like it was the war in Iraq. SpoFi has also not been remiss in making sure that we all know that they were wrongly accused. It's been ridiculous. And, ctal, as for Sharpton, the fact that he was even brought up in this thread seems racist to me. You really shouldn't defend it having been brought up. Sharpton was not a player in this case. And, even if he was, Nifong was doing a pretty convincing job of portraying these guys as guilty. So, why blame Sharpton? Because he advocates on behalf of black people before all the facts are in? Is that really such a bad thing?

posted by bperk at 07:08 AM on June 19, 2007

I'm finding myself inclined to come in on the side of bperk and Bishop in this -- with some reluctance, because I think when we start comparing degrees of railroading (as opposed to being outraged that it happens at all), we are on a bit of a slippery slope. But that reservation hasn't stopped me from being uncomfortable at the degree of righteous anger expressed here and elsewhere over what happened to the Duke lacrosse players, versus the general willingness to accept the "wrong place, wrong time" argument or the "he's a thug anyway" argument to quash any sense of indignation when the law overreaches in other cases. The young men of the Duke lacrosse team had privilege, they had advocates, and they never lacked for people willing to take their side. They went through an experience that they should not have had to go through, but insofar as possible, it's being made up to them. They have been very publically vindicated (which will live longer in the public memory, the circus over the allegations or the ballyhoo over the disbarment of Nifong and the settlement?), and their lives are far from ruined. The same cannot be said of others. What bothers me, therefore, is the belief some apparently have that what happened to the Duke lacrosse players is the injustice of the century. If you believe that, you're badly in need of some perspective.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:42 AM on June 19, 2007

Thank you for the substance LBB and Bperk. Thank you for your view point Ctal1999 (whether you agree or disagree). Good job at keeping the thread moving. As for: /watches thread fall down the tubes Please give your honest opinion as to where you thought this thread would go. Did you expect a 40 post thread about the DA? Hopefully you'll take note of the community members who posted after I did and see that people are capable of agreeing, or disagreeing without an all out personal war. There doesn't have to be the same ole mess every single time. If each of us took it upon ourselves to agree/disagree, add some substance and move on we could collectively limit the threads that fall "down the tubes", instead of just watching helping them do so.

posted by Bishop at 01:06 AM on June 20, 2007

Honestly, I jumped all over these guys when I first heard it. I pretty much figured that they were most likely guilty of at least some of the transgressions mentioned. So I think that says something about me. But all in all, I think lbb has this one squared up correctly.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 04:26 PM on June 20, 2007

The only problem i see with your view Bishop is how you aren't horrified when these white kids are falsely and prematurely accused, but are when it happens to African-American athletes. If we say we really believe that racism is wrong, then we have to quit "defending our own." This of course goes both ways. If the color of one's skin shouldn't matter, then why do we give more slack to those who share our pigment? I should be outraged when Pacman is booted before he is proven guilty, and Bishop it seems to me at least that a concern for ending racism would require you to be unhappy about how these guys got screwed. As someone once said (roughly) " injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." I think that you're right about how easily we change our verbage ("wrong place, wrong time") according to a situation depending on one's color of skin. Good point. However, whenever you don't defend white athletes with the same passion you do for African-American athletes, then i think it makes me wonder what exactly you are trying to accomplish.

posted by brainofdtrain at 03:02 PM on June 21, 2007

As someone once said (roughly) " injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." That was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. However, whenever you don't defend white athletes with the same passion you do for African-American athletes, then i think it makes me wonder what exactly you are trying to accomplish. I can't speak for Bishop, but I try to defend those who need defending. There was never a point in this Duke saga where these guys didn't have plenty of support. I prefer giving a voice to those who may not have anyone speaking up for them.

posted by bperk at 03:12 PM on June 21, 2007

I can't speak for Bishop, but I try to defend those who need defending. There was never a point in this Duke saga where these guys didn't have plenty of support. I prefer giving a voice to those who may not have anyone speaking up for them. I'm also inclined to wonder...of those who are criticizing others for their lack of perfectly even-handed breast-beating, just how much "defending" do you do? And of whom?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 03:57 PM on June 21, 2007

bperk, I knew who it was. I didn't want to sound condescending by saying who it was. Just trying to be sensitive. LBB, Agreed with your (implied) point. I was trying to get at the fact that, try as we might, we all falter a bit in our defenses of others. I don't think for everyone it's race. For some it might be gender, age, etc, etc. My point is that we all falter. I'm not afraid of being judged by others here or anywhere by saying that i'm not perfect, and that i am too hard on some and too easy on others. I think that we could all move forward quite a bit on dealing with prejudice as a whole if we: a) admit we (i mean this in a pretty wide and inclusive sense) have problems here in some area, and b) we worked harder to not "protect our own. To answer you more specifically lbb, i try very hard to see past my prejudices and to love people regardless of age, weight, skin pigment, etc. Again, i fail at times, but i do try. What is hard for me when dialoguing with Bishop is that i don't see that come across in his posts. Now i may be missing something, and if so, i apologize. Hopefully i can continue to appreciate Bishop's views where accurate. I think our only hope to get past this stuff is to give each other a lot of foregiveness, 2nd chances, and refuse to single out a group to defend more, regardless of how much more we think defending them is justified. Our whole perception of this issue needs readjusted i think

posted by brainofdtrain at 11:23 PM on June 21, 2007

Nifong stated that he would not allow Durham to become known for "a bunch of lacrosse players from Duke raping a black girl." This seems to be the only truth Nifong told since Durham is now known for a minister of injustice and a sordid circus atmosphere. Seems everyone has an agenda these days and it matters not who they use or abuse to achieve their personal goal. Nifong was so interested in getting himself elected that he left a path of destruction like a F-5 tornado that included railroading three Duke lacrosse players, depriving them of their right to due process as guaranteed by the 5th Amendment of the Constitution, suppressing evidence, breaking state rules of professional conduct over two dozen times, and committing perjury. Nifong should have been reeled in long ago. Nifong was not the only clown in the circus which included: The gang of 88, Duke University, a stripper, Durham police department, Jackson, Sharpton, Nancy Grace, and a myriad of protesters. Duke University essentially threw its own students and coach under the bus even before there was any credible evidence. The coach was fired, the lacrosse season cancelled, and the students kicked out of Duke. And the clowns kept coming - this time 88 vile Duke professors assailed their own students. The infamous gang of 88 used this opportunity to advance their own racist agenda with a full page ad disparaging the Duke players. The beat went on with numerous protesters banging pots and pans threatening to capture and castrate the Duke players while others hung up "Wanted" posters of the players all over campus. This was supposed to be the preamble to the politically correct event all of these people had hoped for. It didn't happen that way. Moreover, it did not happen at all. The case unraveled and while four men left DNA samples in or on the reckless stripper's body none were from the Duke players. This story never should have gotten off the back page of the local newspaper. It should have also been dismissed in a reasonable time frame once the accusations were proven false. The story would have been relagated to the back page of the local paper had the mix been anything other than white suspects and a black accuser. This mix spews political correctness and agendas. The best idea I have heard is to tax political correctness - this would eliminate the national debt while penalizing hatred.

posted by longgreenline at 03:20 AM on June 22, 2007

The gang of 88, Duke University, a stripper, Durham police department, Jackson, Sharpton, Nancy Grace, and a myriad of protesters. And these folks were wrong for doing what? Believing the DA when he said that a woman had been raped and that the Duke lacrosse players were refusing to cooperate? Before any facts were out, people were calling the woman a "ho". How's that any different than people calling her a victim? I think many people, including myself, were most disturbed with Nifong's statements that the lacrosse team was refusing to cooperate with the investigation. You are blaming people for believing the statements of Nifong because it turns out that he was lying. How were people supposed to know that? Further, if you are suggesting that Jackson and Sharpton were assuming any persons guilt, please give me a cite because I can't find any such statement. The most I can find is Jackson saying that something happened to the woman based on the DA's statement. And the clowns kept coming - this time 88 vile Duke professors assailed their own students. The infamous gang of 88 used this opportunity to advance their own racist agenda with a full page ad disparaging the Duke players. You never even read the ad. Here it is. Where is the disparaging part? The professors are clearly addressing the racism and sexism that are being discussed on campus as a result of this case. This case caused a lot of people to analyze what kind of environment Duke has and what it should be. That's what happens on college campuses across the country. It's self-reflection and it's a good thing. The best idea I have heard is to tax political correctness - this would eliminate the national debt while penalizing hatred. How about we tax every person that brings up political correctness to suppress a discussion of race? How much money do you think we would raise then? Every time you discuss any issue that has anything to do with race, you pull your PC card. Who was being PC in this case and what ideas and thoughts were being suppressed? Nifong was being a political opportunist and Duke was scared of bad publicity. The "PC police" weren't stopping anyone from defending the Duke lacrosse players because they had plenty of defenders. PC seems to be the bullshit that people scream when they want to complain about anyone discussing race.

posted by bperk at 09:05 AM on June 22, 2007

I certainly don't agree with the above assessment. "Political Correctness" is just a little bit too much of a catch-all to be accurate. It's not a bogeyman with a universal agenda. You and I wouldn't even agree on a definition. I think what we all saw was varying degrees of racism and personal agenda, mixed with corruption and just a hint of malice; with a side order of envy. But you know what the good news is? It was exposed. on edit: Responding to the dude above bperk

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:11 AM on June 22, 2007

I haven't had much time lately to comment (hold your applause), I would however like to compliment the previous posters whether agreeing or disagreeing with me. As far as "sticking up for" (as it were) people who are wrongfully accused, I just don't think these guys needed my support. They had the women's team wearing arm bans, there was not one thread here calling for a ban or suspension before they had due process, and they have settled with the university (the minute the charges were dropped). Being wrongfully accused and being wrongfully shot are 2 different things. These guys were never labeled thugs, gang members, a posse, or any such thing. Again seeing these guys being defended when they basically committed the same offenses that the Vikings players committed a little while back is actually evidence that White athletes behaving similarly as Black athletes is viewed differently. If the accused was Mike Tyson (see his previous rape case as exposed by Allen Dershowitz, Harvard Law professor) Pacman Jones, Steve Foley, or Ron Artest, This case would still be going on. If this was the University of Miami football team, do you think we'd be discussing them being wronfully accused now? Do you think they would be getting monetary compensation? Black athletes catch hell for even going to strip clubs, bars etc. These young men brought the strippers home with them to do the same damn thing that Black athletes do with them and they are praised and glorified for it. Not even as much as a 'you'll think twice next time', or 'that's what they get for being in that environment' or 'shame on them for hiring the same type of women that we hear about Pacman Jones hanging around everyday on Sportscenter'. A black athlete can get shot (attempted murder) and the general consensus is ' oh well, he shouldn't have been speeding'. I am most likely the only member of this community that would think of saying something like "how's it feel" or "see, being wrongfully accused isn't any fun is it" pertaining to these guys and you're saying that 1 person saying it once is to much. Imagine if you read post after post condemning these guys even after they were found to be innocent. Please don't suggest all injustices are the same, because this case proves that they are not.

posted by Bishop at 07:18 AM on June 23, 2007

Bishop, you've just illustrated my earlier point spectacularly. I agree with just about everything you said in the post you just put up. My earlier comments weren't aimed so much at your opinions as at how you express them. I do sometimes think that you're reaching a bit on some of your points, but then I'm not in your shoes, am I? I just think that you often come off as belligerent right out of the gate, and that tends to breed immediate defensiveness in response. That's just my impression, and I'd bet that you generally don't mean it that way. Still, it's perception that's going to dictate the reaction. A discussion between reasonable, civil people seems to always accomplish a lot more than heated exchanges and I, for one, find it a lot more palatable. Don't get me wrong. There are people who need to have their heads bashed against the wall periodically, just on general principle, but I don't think you're one of them. I hope you don't think most of your fellow SpoFiers are either.

posted by ctal1999 at 01:21 PM on June 23, 2007

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