Nifong Does The Hokey Pokey

Mike Nifong has been sentenced to one day in jail. Not much, agreed, but given how things were looking for the victims of the Duke Hoax a year ago, a bit of a symbolic victory. This should make their civil suit against the City of Durham et. al. a bit easier to press.

The findings.

Judge Smith:

As far as I am concerned, Nifong should serve the same time as those he tried to railroad would have served had he suceeded. One day is not even a slap on the wrist, it is an insult to the justice system.

He will spend around 18 seconds in jail for each week he was hoping the 3 innocent lacrosse players would serve. I’d say he got off a bit too easy for justice to be said to have been done.

The closer you look, the worse things in Durham smell. Nifong had a lot of help with his attempted frame job. Duke’s President and a substantial number of faculty covered themselves with dishonor. The NC NAACP’s behavior was contemptible.

The reason Durham smells is because they shut down alll the tobacco warehouses. Curing tobacco smelled amazingly nice, and covered up all the standard inner-city rot and fumes stench quite well.

But I’m not quite sure what you’ve got against Broadhead. He stayed as far out of the mess as he could; the Duke faculty (or at least the 88, or however many morons there were) are definitely blameworthy here.

I’m sure this has been asked and answered before, but if I may: Why did he do it? He must have known something like this was going to happen; I mean he was an attorney and a DA for God’s sake.

Plus, did the 88, the NAACP, etc apologize? Did anybody apologize?

Again I’m sure these questions have been asked before, but some of those threads were so long, I just couldn’t bring myself to undertake them.

I don’t know specifics about this case, but Nifong had no reason to believe he’d face such punishment. Prosecutors are frequently known for spouting off to the press and mis-characterising very shaky evidence as being convincing proof. This is just about the first case I can recall where the prosecutor actually suffered consequences for it.

Not to excuse Nifong, of course. There should have been many more cases brought over prosecutorial misconduct in the past – maybe he would have been more careful.

Don’t get me wrong, I think Nifong is a slimeball who deserves more than just one day in jail, and is an embarrassment to prosecutors everwhere.

But you’re way off base asserting that “are frequently known for spouting off to the press and mis-characterising very shaky evidence as being convincing proof. This is just about the first case I can recall where the prosecutor actually suffered consequences for it.” Your statments are little more than an inflammatory pile of crap.

Well, he fired the coach, canceled the season, suspended the innocent players, told Pressler (the coach) “It’s not about the truth anymore,” said that even if they didn’t rape the stripper, “whatever they did was bad enough,” failed to register a complaint when DPD members illegally gained entrance to a Duke dorm in order to illegally question students, and gave a complete free pass to multiple faculty members who violated the code of the Faculty Handbook. That’s what I have against him.

Instead of staying out of the mess, shouldn’t he have been an an advocate for Duke students? Or, at the very least, manage not to slander them, and suspend them from school preemptorily?

A good list, though it should be noted that “It’s not about the truth anymore” came from the athletic director (but was never repudiated by Brodhead, and no doubt represented his view of the case).

It should also be noted that he had very little to say while Nifong was making a mockery of the concept of honest prosecution. This acquiescence by most of those at Duke - and the active support of more than a few - was no doubt part of the reason Nifong went as far as he did.

It’s now clear that what he wants is to “move on,” with no further discussion of the case and the deplorable actions of many at Duke and in Durham. In a difficult case where leadership was needed, Brodhead functioned as a pleasant, spineless appeaser.

Well, here are some cites:
Judge throws out threat conviction

No penalty against that guy.

Boston Globe – Top judge wants US prosecutor disciplined
Says evidence was withheld at trial

This guy got a letter of reprimand – there is a judge pudhing for further punishment.

Wisconsin State Journal – Georgia Thompson Acquitted, Set Free
I’ve done some threads about this case. Congress is investigating it right now as part of the US Atorney firing scandal. The prosecutor was on a JD firing list before bringing this case, and sometime after bringing this case removed from the list.

Abilene Reporter

Here’s a Minneapolis Tribune article about the general subject:

That’s a surprise, court associates getting a pass. Next time you hear a judge bitching about minimum mandatory sentences impeding their judicial discretion, ask yourself why they should have such power in the first place.

Nifong, and that piece of shit who started this whole mess, Crystal Gail Mangum, should be sentenced to hard time…in the same cell.

You’re right. Thanks for the correction.

It should be noted that Alleva was just given a new deal (5 years?) Apparently, Broadhead is satisfied with his work.

Prosecutors get cover in a lot of cases by one form or another of statutory immunity – which is probably a good thing, given how loser criminals would spend all their time filing charges against prosectors if they didn’t. But this protection assumes the prosecutors are acting in good faith – and not all of them are.

Many prosecutors have virtually no one to answer to except the electorate – or to bosses who themselves answer to an electorate. And the general population, surprisingly enough, isn’t terribly interested in protecting the rights of accused criminals.

I really can’t recall any previous case where a prosecutor was disbarred for prosecutorial misconduct. Generally the worst that happens is that the case is thrown out on appeal and they get to try it again.

Granted, prosecutors are rarely disbarred. Nifong was a particularly egregious case, however.


I’m sure I don’t have to explain to you the difference between anecdotes and data. The fact is in a vast, vast, vast majority of cases there is no prosecutorial misconduct. When it does occur, it is a horrible travesty and, if there is evidence it was intentionally done, there should be severe punishments. But, despite a problem here or there, you’re still pathetically wrong that prosecutors “known for spouting off to the press and mis-characterising very shaky evidence as being convincing proof.”

I would propose a few answers to that:

First, prosecutors have a lot of power to abuse people without facing any serious consequences. So Nifong was probably used to doing whatever he wanted.

Second, Nifong seems to have some serious personality issues. It seems that he is both impulsive and extremely stubborn. So he makes decisions without giving them a lot of thought and then refuses to back down. Further, it appears that he has no conscience or consideration for the rights of others. Basically, it looks like he’s a hard core narcissist.

I never said “most” or the “majority”, I said “many” and that is correct.

Here is another cite.

Here is another quote from that website:

Haven’t you heard of “poisoning the jury pool”? Haven’t you heard news reports quoting leaks of confessions and other evidence meant to bias the community against the defendant. It happens somewhere every fuckin’ week.

The racial furor he helped to whip up allowed Nifong to win his election. Many expected him to drop the prosecution after that was done. But he was in quite deep at that point, and there was lots of speculation that the jury pool was so tainted that, had the trial taken place in Durham, convictions would have been likely even without any evidence of guilt. Had the 3 players been acquitted, it would have been spun as “Their rich daddies hired top lawyers, so the scumbags walk.”

I think one or possibly 2 of the 88 have apologized; the rest stand defiant. I don’t believe the NC NAACP has apologized, or even conceded that the charges were bogus.

Jesse Jackson’s current take is (paraphrased) “No, I won’t apologize - they had a party with strippers, so they have to deal with the consequences of that.”

More than a few journalists have apologized for “presumption of guilt” stories. Of course, plenty of others haven’t, most notably a couple from the NY Times.

Here’s what you said: " Prosecutors are frequently known for spouting off to the press and mis-characterising very shaky evidence as being convincing proof." You’ve offered absolutely nothing that even comes close to backing up that statement. Well, except for another assertion that it happens somewhere every fuckin’ week.

And, as far as many, do you have any idea how many convictions are obtained in the criminal justice system a year? Let’s use your quoted statement: “Since 1970, individual judges and appellate court panels cited prosecutorial misconduct as a factor when dismissing charges, reversing convictions or reducing sentences in over 2,000 cases.” Just to make things weighted heavily in your favor, we’ll compare those 2,000 cases over 20+ years and compare them to the number of convictions obtained in just one year, which, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics is 1,145,000 (that’s just felonies, I’ll leave out misdemeanors just to make it even more interesting). That’s roughly .1% of cases. Of one year of convictions compared with 20+ years.

If you’d like to say 2,000 over 20 is many, have at it. Even one case of true prosecutorial misconduct is too many. But it is an incredibly small percentage of cases.

What I said was correct and I stand by it. Thousands is “many”.