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Tilting at Windmills

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June 15, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

NIFONG....Durham district attorney Michael Nifong explains his obscene mishandling of the Duke rape case:

He said he had not intentionally withheld evidence in the case, though he had made mistakes. He said that some mistakes made in the case, including mishandling evidence and not turning favorable DNA tests over to defense lawyers, were based on his inexperience in handling felony cases and oversight.

He said he had not handled a felony case since 1999, concentrating on traffic offenses in recent years.

Spare me. This guy makes Alberto Gonzales look like a boy scout. I hope he's disbarred with extreme prejudice.

Kevin Drum 6:21 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (71)

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Comments

Had Nifong handled this case like a terrorism case:

- The Duke LaCrosse team would just have disappeared, probably to a secret prison in Uzbekistan, where several would now be dead, having been boiled in oil.
- The rest would be crippled for life, and insane, as a result of "enhanced interrogation".
- None would have had access to a lawyer, and the accuser would never have had to even talk to a judge, let alone a lawyer.
- All Duke University Students and faculty, their family members, and associates would have had all their email, telephone, and online activities recorded, analyzed, and cataloged indefinitely, in several databases, with no way to know how long this data would remain stored, and no way to guarantee that in 5 or 10 years, the stored data wouldn't fall into the possession of anyone else.
- Anyone who complained about this treatment would be called "A Terrorist Sympathizer" - and be subject to the same (or worse) treatment.
- The mere knowledge that this had happened would be a State Secret, crucial to National Security and anyone revealing it to the press would be ruthlessly prosecuted. Far more harshly than administration officials that outed a CIA agent to score political points.
- Rush Limbaugh and Anne Coulter would be publishing articles defending the accuser.
- Nifong would have received a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 15, 2007 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK
This guy makes Alberto Gonzales look like a boy scout.

Uh, what? Grossly mishandling one case, even if it was malicious and deliberate, is several orders of magnitude less serious than Gonzales.

Get some perspective.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 15, 2007 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

There are very few good prosecutors. Most are Vyshinsky's, only interested in obtaining convictions whether the accused is guilty or not.

Posted by: Brojo on June 15, 2007 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with cmdicely. Kevin, it isn't like you to post such a bizarrely ill-thought-out message. An experienced prosecutor messing up one case makes the guy who is destroying our Constitution and justifying sending people to be tortured look like a boy scout? What is wrong with you? Did you fall and hit your head or something?

Posted by: Joe Buck on June 15, 2007 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK

Nifong had a choice between looking evil and looking incompetent, and he chose incompetent. It has worked for Gonzales so far.

Posted by: anandine on June 15, 2007 at 6:55 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin was listening to John and Ken when he wrote this. You cannot avoid these idiots in Southern California in the afternoons.

Posted by: gregor on June 15, 2007 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK

Will there be any resignations at the New York Times, which promoted this hoax into a vast national story? I doubt it ...

Posted by: Steve Sailer on June 15, 2007 at 6:57 PM | PERMALINK

Will there be any resignations at the New York Times, which promoted this hoax into a vast national story? I doubt it ...
Posted by: Steve Sailer on June 15, 2007 at 6:57 PM | PERMALINK

Yes; and like the rest of you, I'm eagerly awaiting Nancy Grace's profound apologies. Because, as we all well know, DNA evidence is crucial to rape cases. Or not.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 15, 2007 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

DAs all over the country do what Nifong did everyday. The only difference is they do it mainly to the poor and powerless (& disproportionately it is done to minorities). Through DNA evidence, we know undisputably that a DA in Dallas not only charged, but convicted, at least, 11 innocent men.

Where's the outrage over this? Where are the calls for this DA's discipline?

In focusing on this case in a vacuum, Kevin is playing the conservative's game of treating this case as exceptional and ignoring the broader problem of political DAs who often abuse their extraordinary powers to the detriment and damage of innocent people; people who typical don't have millions of dollars to obtain justice through a media campaign and great legal defense.

I hope the State of North Carolina reimburses these three men the money they had to spend, Nifong gets appropriately disciplined and issues of prosecutorial misconduct receive more scrutiny in the future.

Posted by: Macswain on June 15, 2007 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK

Really. You can read about abuse of prosecutorial discretion every goddamn day of the week. If you care to. Jena, Louisiana, anyone? "Even though the teen wasn't seriously hurt, six black students were expelled and were charged with attempted second-degree murder and other offenses for which they face up to 100 years in jail." Cricket, cricket....

Posted by: sniflheim on June 15, 2007 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

nifong is gonzales minus the national stage. don't dismiss him just because he can trample on the constitutional rights of only relative few.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on June 15, 2007 at 7:29 PM | PERMALINK

Well, the minimal skills Nifong claims he forgot because he has been "concentrating on traffic cases lately" don't just disappear and, for the most part, are present even in traffic cases. So that is a crock of shit. Beyond that, however, there is little question but that Nifong has courtroom and trial skills that are literally light years above those of Alberto Gonzales. Anybody that has been in a courtroom and actually tried a case has more experience than Gonzales. The DOJ leadership used to be the best of the best; under Bush and Gonzales, they are the most pathetic of the worst.

Posted by: bmaz on June 15, 2007 at 7:33 PM | PERMALINK

I am stunned that a DA would admit that he is incompetent and only cares about the statistics. This is true of all of our government prosecutors and they only care about the numbers when the time for re-election rolls around. Right now I don't even want to get into the legal theft perpetrated on a huge portion of those convicted of minor offenses! We have morphed into an Orwellian justice system which does not offer justice: it merely feeds upon itself!

Posted by: fdeaton on June 15, 2007 at 7:53 PM | PERMALINK

Nifong. Fitzgerald. Fitzfong?

Posted by: nikkolai on June 15, 2007 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

What does MHR stand for anyway? Moronic Head in Rectum?

Posted by: bmaz on June 15, 2007 at 8:03 PM | PERMALINK

I'm flabbergasted that Kevin dives right into this one, give how much heat and how little light blogs have been able to generate from the Duke case. There are a lot of important issues involved, of course -- issues which have been ill-served by tacking them onto what was an obvious media circus from the start. Not that we've heard much about said issues here, but I didn't expect prosecutorial misconduct to be the one to finally elicit a post. And the comparison to Gonzales is so off-base, it isn't even wrong.

Posted by: idlemind on June 15, 2007 at 8:22 PM | PERMALINK

Careful, Kevin. Any hint that a member of the Bush administration is anything other than a hell-spawned minion of Satan is going to get you kicked out of the club.

Posted by: rnc on June 15, 2007 at 8:32 PM | PERMALINK

Steve Sailer:Will there be any resignations at the New York Times, which promoted this hoax into a vast national story? I doubt it ...

There will be the same number of resignations that took place after their Whitewater stories, the Al Gore stories, the Iraq weapons stories....

Didn't mind those, did you?

Posted by: TJM on June 15, 2007 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK

Ha, ha. Hey, Kevin: isn't it great how the liberal thought police show up and reprimand you for the defect in your condemnation of Nifong? Your censure must not be allowed to mitigate or even reference the behavior of far worse criminals than this lying district attorney ---such as those whom the Chimperor employs.

You hippie ideologists are fascists with the training wheels still on.

Posted by: Toby Petzold on June 15, 2007 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

I agree. The comparison to Gonzales is absolutely wrong and absurd. Nifong is a far more accomplished attorney that Gonzales; there really is no comparison.

Posted by: bmaz on June 15, 2007 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

It's called perspective, Tony. That's all we're asking for.

You could use a little yourself

Posted by: skeg on June 15, 2007 at 9:21 PM | PERMALINK

[This commenter has been previously banned]

Posted by: Harry Reid on June 15, 2007 at 9:27 PM | PERMALINK

Wait a minute - these defendants were not freaking Boy Scouts - although a rape may not have gone down, enough happened that he got played by a victim, and then political hubris took him down a foolish sorry road...yadda yadda. All of the political critiques above...still light-years from Abu!

Posted by: SouthernWreck on June 15, 2007 at 9:32 PM | PERMALINK

What a simple amoeba like organism the so-called "Harry Reid" is. Tell me sage Mr. Reid, on what do you base that conclusion? Mr. Gonzales has literally NEVER tries a case to a jury. Ever. Nifong, as pathetic as he is, has tried hundreds of jury cases, most all of them criminal. When you are running the criminal justice system of the entire United States, it is probably a good idea that you have at least seen the inside of a criminal courtroom. There is nothing partisan about this view, the same principle would hold regardless of the party to which Gonzales belongs to. It is just a fact. Period.

Posted by: bmaz on June 15, 2007 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK

He made mistakes. he should not be disbarred. The system worked, no one was convicted.

He quit.

He should not be disbarred.

Posted by: POed Lib on June 15, 2007 at 9:47 PM | PERMALINK

"This guy makes Alberto Gonzales look like a boy scout."

That's the dumbest thing you've ever said Kevin. Bar none.

Posted by: markg8 on June 15, 2007 at 9:50 PM | PERMALINK

Why does it take 3 white boys getting screwed over by the system for people to raise an uproar. How about a white outcry over the Central Park Jogger travesty--I won't bother holding my breadth

Posted by: Dazir on June 15, 2007 at 9:56 PM | PERMALINK

Also, while it is possible that Nifong hooked up DieHard batteries through jumper cables to the Dukie's testicles, I have not seen those pictures yet.

Posted by: bmaz on June 15, 2007 at 9:59 PM | PERMALINK

Remind me again who Nifong imprisoned, indefinitely, without access to counsel and without a trial.

Then remind me never to let you anywhere near a boy scout.

Posted by: Roger Ailes on June 15, 2007 at 10:53 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, don't get me wrong. Nifong should be drawn and quartered, he is totally pathetic. If I had my druthers, part of that would also involve Federal criminal rights charges among all the other remedies and penalties. His actions were inexcusable and heinous. However, compared to the long term damage of Gonzales, the harm to citizens and damage to processes is restricted and limited. My only real point is that the reflex to loathe Nifong should be as strong, if not inherently stronger, for Gonzales.

Posted by: bmaz on June 15, 2007 at 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

"Uh, what? Grossly mishandling one case, even if it was malicious and deliberate, is several orders of magnitude less serious than Gonzales.

Get some perspective."

His intentions were good... We all know those priviledged white boys did it.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on June 15, 2007 at 11:37 PM | PERMALINK

"He made mistakes. he should not be disbarred. The system worked, no one was convicted.

He quit.

He should not be disbarred."

Yeah, especially since they were honest mistakes. Besides, haven't we learned from Anita Hill, that it's not the nature of the evidence, but the seriousness of the charge that's more important.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on June 15, 2007 at 11:44 PM | PERMALINK

"Nifong, as pathetic as he is, has tried hundreds of jury cases, most all of them criminal."

Scary thought... makes me wonder how many other innocent folks this liberal DA put away to further his political career.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on June 15, 2007 at 11:47 PM | PERMALINK

The message from the Nifong case to prosecutors is not: "Don't do this."

The message is: "Don't do this to white people."

Posted by: Mary Contrary on June 15, 2007 at 11:48 PM | PERMALINK

"His intentions were good... We all know those priviledged white boys did it."

Well, we know they did something... just what exactly we'll never know now.

But hey, that's OK. Freedom fighters will always tell you, only black crime is truly evil...

Posted by: Mary Contrary on June 15, 2007 at 11:54 PM | PERMALINK

[Freedom Fighter, I am becoming sufficiently annoyed. This is your warning.]

Posted by: on June 16, 2007 at 12:16 AM | PERMALINK

I'm calling BS on this post.

I LIVE in Durham, in close proximity to where this happened.

We have seen-up close and personal-the behavior of these overpriveleged young Masters of the Universe for years.

Hiring strippers for a party?
Standing in the street shouting N***ER because they didn't get what they wanted from her?
Pissing in the neighbors' front porch in a drunken rout?
I've seen young women running naked down the street late at night-away from that house-having climbed out the bathroom window.

You have no clue what you're talking about.
I've lived in this town for a long time. those young men may not have actually raped that woman, but they DID abuse her, and they have cut a swath of bad behavior through this town for a very long time. don't give me this innocent victim bullshit.

Posted by: susan on June 16, 2007 at 12:35 AM | PERMALINK

"Freedom Fighter, I am becoming sufficiently annoyed."

What exactly is annoying you?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on June 16, 2007 at 12:45 AM | PERMALINK

I have been around campuses my entire adult life, and that same kind of brats of privilege asshole punks run amok in too many college towns. A lot of women have had run ins with them. If this causes some of those bastards to experience a gut-check, at least a shred of good will come from it. And if it shines a light on prosecutorial misconduct and people who can't afford high-dollar legal representation benefit, there is another positive. Not that it excuses the mans malfeasance, I am just looking at the big picture and the fact that time can not be rewound nor the past undone.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 16, 2007 at 12:47 AM | PERMALINK

freedom Fighter: That you contribute nothing to the conversation, just jeer from the sidelines annoys the fuck out of me. Just sayin'

Show of hands?

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 16, 2007 at 12:54 AM | PERMALINK

Mike Nifong is nowhere near Alberto Gonzales. What he did created havoc and injured a lot of people; but it is somewhat comprehensible.

Mike was appointed to the Durham District Attorney position to finish out the term of Roy Cooper., who is currently the North Carolina Attorney General. This case appeared just as he was choosing to run for the office; a decision that was not necessarily supported by party officials. It must have seemed ready made to enable him to embellish his heretofore undistinguished career as the Durham District Attorney.

He apparently decided to believe the first reports of the case and to ignore all subsequent reports (including DNA evidence) which did not fit his preconceived decision. This may have been based in part on a belief that a college male midnight party with female entertainment obviously must have involved some illegal behavior. And it may have, but as a DA he was required to determine what, if any, laws were broken; not leap to a conclusion. (Well okay, at least in this respect he seems to match Karl, Berto and W’s modus operandi.)

In any case once entwined in his own folly he didn’t seem to know how to get out. And kept digging. (Again Karl, Berto and W’s modus operandi.)

Even with his announced resignation I’m not sure that he gets it. Denial, once entrenched, is such a hard habit to break.

Posted by: Jim in Raleigh on June 16, 2007 at 12:55 AM | PERMALINK

Here is a news bulletin: College jocks (and a whole host of other college guys) have wild parties. Happens in every major college and university town in America. Well, except for theobot schools such as Regency perhaps. You may not like it all the time, it may occasionally be a little ugly, but when you choose to live near a University, this is part of the varied "charm" that comes with all the positives. If you were not a part of some such debauchery in college, you missed out. The Dookies may indeed be louts, but they were tarred with being malignant racist sexual predators and sought to be imprisoned for 25 years to life. The thought that some of that was deserved because rowdy college dudes annoy you literally is shocking and offensive to the conscience.

Posted by: bmaz on June 16, 2007 at 1:07 AM | PERMALINK

Jim in Raleigh - From what I know, I agree completely with what you said.

Posted by: bmaz on June 16, 2007 at 1:12 AM | PERMALINK

I have been around campuses my entire adult life, and that same kind of brats of privilege asshole punks run amok in too many college towns. A lot of women have had run ins with them. If this causes some of those bastards to experience a gut-check, at least a shred of good will come from it

What??? What gut check would that be? That they too might be falsely accused of a heinous crime, have their lives destroyed, and become the trophy victims of a malicious state prosecution?

Posted by: Stefan on June 16, 2007 at 1:49 AM | PERMALINK

In fairness to Blue Girl, I am positive that was not what she meant.

Posted by: bmaz on June 16, 2007 at 1:59 AM | PERMALINK

I see my attorney is here.:) Good, because I am certainly not arguing with a Harvard trained lawyer. Hell, I went to mostly state schools, and certainly didn't study law.

I meant what I said in the entirety of the post. Those guys were not playing chess when this rained down on their heads. They were party to a situation that got out of control on a whole lot of levels. Hell, on every level, it would seem. And in life, most of us learn that what happens to us is usually not random - we can usually trace things that happen to us back to a choice we made. They made the decision to host a party, hire a stripper, serve alcohol to minors and in general behave like louts. Had they not committed several misdemeanors to set up the situation they most likely would never have been charged with a felony.

I suppose I can pour another drink and try to explain myself further, but I was really wanting to avoid a hangover tomorrow. I will if I need to. Do I?

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 16, 2007 at 2:07 AM | PERMALINK

I am having a very hard time imagining the outcome of this case if the accuser was a young white girl, the accused some barely educated non-celebrity poor black males, and the venue was in the deep south but not in a university town like Durham.

Posted by: gregor on June 16, 2007 at 2:17 AM | PERMALINK

And if it shines a light on prosecutorial misconduct and people who can't afford high-dollar legal representation benefit, there is another positive. Not that it excuses the mans malfeasance, I am just looking at the big picture and the fact that time can not be rewound nor the past undone.

I thought I kind of explained myself in the second half, actually.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 16, 2007 at 2:21 AM | PERMALINK

"And if it shines a light on prosecutorial misconduct and people who can't afford high-dollar legal representation benefit, there is another positive."

Unfortunately, the chances of that happening are zero.

People are more than happy to tolerate the double-standard... as long as it's in their favor.

Posted by: Mary Contrary on June 16, 2007 at 3:49 AM | PERMALINK

"He said he had not intentionally withheld evidence in the case, though he had made mistakes."

What a wondrous coincidence, that all the mistakes Nifong made in the case advanced his primary then general election bid. That all the mistakes tended towards inculpating the accused and none exculpating.

And my mind simply reels at the false feminists (Blue State "Those guys were not playing chess" you should be ashamed, and susan I've lived in Durham longer than you, and you are a liar) and fake defenders of racial justice (hint: having innoncent people of all races falsely accused is not the best vector for achieving equal justice) here who would assume guilt of the innocent because members of their preferred clan have been victimized or falsely convicted in the past.

It just makes me ill to have to share the label of liberal with the likes of such, who might wink at injustice until their personal chalk tallies are equalized to their satisfaction.

Nifong's a white male democrat in North Carolina, and I want him punished harshly for his wrongful behavior, even though I am a white male democrat in North Carolina. That must be very confusing to many of the hypocrites here.

Posted by: mere mortal on June 16, 2007 at 5:25 AM | PERMALINK

As someone who lives in Durham and who has followed the case, Nifong deserves a serious reprimand but Kevin Drum's intemperate comparisons with Gonzales makes Drum seem like an 18-year old college student spouting off. We have real problems with prosecutorial abuse and incompetence in all of the U.S. and it rarely gets the kind of outrage and public indignation that is going on everywhere by people who have only read about the case. Nifong was way over his head and he simply let things get out of hand and didn't know how to pull back. You had to live here and know the racial history of the town and to read the Raleigh News and Observer's over the top reporting about the case in the early days. Now the paper is trying to redeem themselves by ruining Nifong. Everything in the world depends on context but in blogging and in the mainstream media context has vanished.

Posted by: Dan Beauchamp on June 16, 2007 at 5:38 AM | PERMALINK

mere mortal: I applaud your principled stand.

I mourn, however, that your principles seem to be reserved for white males only.

Posted by: Mary Contrary on June 16, 2007 at 6:48 AM | PERMALINK

btw, mortal, declaring yourself not racist because you criticize nifong... not buying it.

it would be like me trying to prove my democratic bona fides by critizing lincoln chafee.

Posted by: Mary Contrary on June 16, 2007 at 7:07 AM | PERMALINK

Had the stripper truly been raped, there would be those saying she put herself at risk by dancing in front of drunken young men. That would be true, but blaming the victim after a crime of a different order of magnitude has been committed is out of line. The comments castigating the Duke lacrosse players is the mirror image, the only difference being with whom one's sympathy lies. Kevin is a ideological liberal not an interest group liberal. (and what Gonzalez did was worse)

Mark

Posted by: Mark on June 16, 2007 at 7:47 AM | PERMALINK

Fitzfong still has the civil problems ahead. Seems one of the rich honkey's moms was a little peaved at him.

Posted by: nikkolai on June 16, 2007 at 8:50 AM | PERMALINK

Note that Kevin is able and willing to say that Nifong screwed up badly, whereas the rightist blogger types would never turn on someone they consider "one of their own" (like, a prosecutor who was lenient on cops shooting unarmed black folks, etc.)

Posted by: Neil B. on June 16, 2007 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

I will let you know when I get around to giving a rat's ass what you think, mere mortal. Don't hold your breath.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 16, 2007 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

nifong:

"mistakes were made.*

i'm very sorry."


page 34, footnote:

*affecting the lives of three young men, assaulting a university community,
and stirring up racial passions in an entire region.

Posted by: orionATL on June 16, 2007 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

I understand Kevin's perspective. He feels that some people in his tribe were wronged, and he's reacting to it. It is what it is.

Posted by: Acanthus on June 16, 2007 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

Many if not most innocent people who are wrongly prosecuted are either guilty of something else or have other character flaws that make them unsympathetic and vulnerable to prosecution. Very few are like Tim Robbins in the Shawshank Redemption. And it's really depressing to see liberals adopt the essentially right wing Giulianiesque "I'm sure they were guilty of something/were no choirboys" argument because the defendants were in all likelihood assholes.

Posted by: Hank Scorpio on June 16, 2007 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

osama-been-forgotten (at 6:37)-

i really liked your comment. so much so that i printed it out for myself.

you could not have been more right or picked a more apt analogy.

thanks

Posted by: orionATL on June 16, 2007 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

Actually Nifong and Gonzalez are cut from the same cloth: neither is competent as a lawyer, and both have used their position to cement political power. But perhaps most critically for a prosecutor, neither man possesses a moral compass.

Posted by: Bob C on June 16, 2007 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

and in life, most of us learn that what happens to us is usually not random - we can usually trace things that happen to us back to a choice we made. They made the decision to host a party, hire a stripper, serve alcohol to minors and in general behave like louts. Had they not committed several misdemeanors to set up the situation they most likely would never have been charged with a felony.

Again, what???? This veers dangerously close to the usual blaming the victim mentality of the Right.

The only (not "several") misdemeanor they committed was serving alcohol to minors, which, come on, is something I'll be virtually everyone in the US did when they were teenagers or in their early twenties. When I was in college I was at hundreds of parties where I either drank underage or served alcohol to people I knew were underage. Everything else these guys did -- throwing a party, hiring a stripper, behaving like louts, etc., while it may not be something everyone approves of, was perfectly legal.

Had they not committed several misdemeanors to set up the situation they most likely would never have been charged with a felony.

Set up what situation? That a delusional psychotic would accuse them of a crime they never committed and an unethical prosecutor would hide exculpatory evidence in pursuit of his political ambitons? That's the situation they set up by having a party??? Like millions of kids in college do every single weekend? So is the message "don't throw a wild college party or else you too may be charged with a heinous felony you never committed and spend the rest of your life in jail???

Look, assume we were talking about an underage girl at a college party who drank too much and actually was raped. Would you ever accept somebody saying about her "in life, most of us learn that what happens to us is usually not random - we can usually trace things that happen to us back to a choice we made. She made the decision to go to a party, drink alcohol while a minor and in general behave like a slut. Had she not committed several misdemeanors to set up the situation she most likely would never have been raped"? Of course you wouldn't, so I don't understand why in this case you're blaming the victims of a terrible crime.

Posted by: Stefan on June 16, 2007 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK


What you failed to mention is the fact that Nifong was a liberal playing to his black base and running for reelection for DA at the same time that he was prosecuting the athletes

It's interesting looking at the overall history of conservative DAs playing to their white base and liberal DAs playing to their black base..it seems like far more damage has done by conservatives, and the one case of a liberal playing to his base is the exception, rather than the rule.. ie DA Lenox Forman, a conservative DAs playing to his white base, who never prosecuted James Ford Seale for his role in the double murder of two young men.

Posted by: Billy Bob on June 16, 2007 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

BobC - Precisely. The only difference whatsoever is the amount of gross long term damage.

Posted by: bmaz on June 16, 2007 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

So Susan, did you bother to call the police after you saw the first woman "run naked down the street after climbing out the bathroom window"?

Apparently not since you claim this happens often.

So where's your moral high ground again?

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on June 16, 2007 at 8:08 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan:

I would never say to a rape victim that she did something to contribute to her rape. However I will tell my daughter not to be a stripper, get drunk or high at drunken frat parties, or in general "behave like a slut", or because you never know what is going to happen.

Likewise, I will also tell my son, don't attend drunken frat parties, hire strippers, and then when they don't do what you want, yell vile racists diatribes at them. Because you never know what's going to happen.

I think the real issue here is that, in the past, rich, privileged people have always been able to avoid or buy their way out of the consequences of their own stupidity.

More and more this is not the case, and rich, privileged people are now facing the same level of justice (or injustice) as the poor.

And they really don't like it.

So now, we're left with the same standard: justice for all or injustice for all.

So which is it going to be?

Posted by: Mary Contrary on June 16, 2007 at 8:27 PM | PERMALINK

"mere mortal: I applaud your principled stand.
I mourn, however, that your principles seem to be reserved for white males only."

Mary, I appreciate your applause, if sincere, but I am at a loss as to where you found any evidence of your second sentence.

"btw, mortal, declaring yourself not racist because you criticize nifong... not buying it."

Mary, I am puzzled as to where you read that I declared myself not racist.

"I will let you know when I get around to giving a rat's a** what you think, mere mortal. Don't hold your breath."

Ah, Blue State. I have often seen this skill in the hopelessly ignorant. Caring nothing about what other people think is a delightful method of never learning anything new. Very edgy, very independent.

Personally, I do not have such a skill, and thus I am keen to know what you think. Though Stefan covered this ground above to some extent, I would be very curious about how you would judge a hypothetical rape victim who decided to put on a light summer blouse in warm weather and go out for a drink. You can answer honestly, since you don't care if it means I think your answer (either way) makes you a joke of a feminist.

Even though you don't care about my answer, I'll tell you that in my reckoning, neither the hypothetical blouse-wearing woman nor the Duke lacrosse players deserved the events that befell them on a warm spring night.

Posted by: mere mortal on June 16, 2007 at 9:45 PM | PERMALINK

Soeaking of the hopelessly ignorant...It is Blue Girl, Red State. But do go on and dazzle us all, won't you? I explained way upthread that from where we stand now, unable to undo the wrongs that he committed, and looking forward...

But you know my motives better than me, so carry on.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 16, 2007 at 9:54 PM | PERMALINK

Also, I challenge you to show me where I said I didn't care what happened to them. You can't because I didn't.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 16, 2007 at 9:55 PM | PERMALINK

"Nifong's a white male democrat in North Carolina, and I want him punished harshly for his wrongful behavior, even though I am a white male democrat in North Carolina."

The clear implication of this statement, mm is that you are not a racist because you are a white person, in favor of punishing a white person who as committed an offense. I'm just pointing out that the offense was against rich and privileged white boys, so your implication doesn't carry much weight.

Furthermore, going out for a drink in a light summer blouse in warm weather is hardly equivalent to the the Duke lacrosse players did. A more accurate scenario would be a hypothetical rape victim who went out dressed in a see-thru top and a G-string, went to a biker bar, got falling down drunk and got up, squatted and pissed on the pool table.

Yes, I think we would both still say she shouldn't be raped. But somehow I don't think you'd be defending her as fervently as you defend the Duke lacrosse team.

--Mary

P.S. The applause was sincere.

Note it was for the stand. Not for you.

Posted by: Mary Contrary on June 17, 2007 at 4:54 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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