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Nifong - is it over for him?

Old 12-29-2006, 07:46 AM
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Prosecutor in Duke Case Faces Ethics Complaint


By DAVID BARSTOW and DUFF WILSON
Published: December 29, 2006
The North Carolina State Bar filed a formal ethics complaint yesterday against the prosecutor in the Duke lacrosse sexual assault case, accusing him of making inflammatory remarks about the team to the news media and misleading the public about evidence.


Karen Tam for The New York Times

Michael B. Nifong is accused of breaking professional ethics rules.

The 17-page complaint took issue with a long list of public comments by the prosecutor, Michael B. Nifong, the Durham district attorney. Since March, when a stripper first accused three Duke lacrosse players of gang-raping her at a late-night team party, Mr. Nifong has granted dozens of interviews with the news media, including one with The New York Times last week.

But according to the state bar, which regulates lawyers in North Carolina, many of Mr. Nifong’s comments were unethical because they included “improper commentary” about the defendants and the evidence.

In perhaps the most serious accusation, the bar also said Mr. Nifong had engaged in “dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation” by suggesting to reporters that a condom was used in the alleged attack when he had in his possession a sexual assault examination report that indicated otherwise.

Mr. Nifong spoke about condoms after laboratory tests failed to find semen from any Duke player on the accuser.

The complaint was filed with the state bar’s Disciplinary Hearing Commission, which can impose a variety of sanctions, from censure to disbarment. According to bar rules, the commission must take up the complaint within 90 to 150 days.

Mr. Nifong did not respond to telephone and e-mail messages last night, but North Carolina’s courts have traditionally granted district attorneys broad leeway in making public comments that “serve a legitimate law enforcement purpose.”

In previous interviews Mr. Nifong has given two main reasons for speaking out, especially in the first weeks of the case. First, he has said he was trying to encourage and pressure possible witnesses on the team to come forward. Second, he has said he was trying to assure the community that as the county’s top law enforcement official, he was taking the woman’s complaint seriously.

But he has also admitted going too far in some of his public comments. In his interview with The Times last week, for example, Mr. Nifong said he was wrong to have described members of the lacrosse team as “a bunch of hooligans.”

According to the bar complaint, the “hooligan” remark was one of many comments by Mr. Nifong that violated ethics rules because they were likely to heighten “public condemnation of the accused.”

Defense lawyers said last night that they had decided not to comment on the complaint. But they have made no secret of their desire to see Mr. Nifong removed from the case, working to fan public criticism of him — a strategy that has helped provoke dozens of ethics complaints against Mr. Nifong with the state bar’s grievance committee.

With yesterday’s action, the grievance committee was indicating that it found merit in many of those complaints.

In addition to the bar complaint, Mr. Nifong is likely to face a separate accusation of prosecutorial misconduct before W. Osmond Smith III, the judge presiding over the sexual assault case. Defense lawyers have said they are preparing a motion seeking sanctions against Mr. Nifong for failing to reveal for seven months that tests had found DNA material from several men, none of them members of the lacrosse team, on rape kit swabs taken from the woman hours after the alleged attack.

Defense lawyers are likely to use the bar’s complaint as still more evidence that Mr. Nifong has a clear conflict of interest that makes his continued involvement in the case untenable.

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Old 12-29-2006, 08:32 AM
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Off with his head!
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Old 12-29-2006, 09:09 AM
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i hope so
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Old 12-29-2006, 09:50 AM
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More than likely, it ain't gonna mount up to a hill of beans. Nothing is going to come of it.
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Old 12-29-2006, 10:44 AM
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He should be disbarred. From everything I've heard, this case should have been thrown out months ago. Instead, he figured he could sacrafice a few "rich frat boys" so that he can pander to the poor crowd during the elections. These kids have had jobs withdrawn once their future employers found out they were the Duke lacross players. They should sue him for lost potential earnings.
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Old 12-29-2006, 11:21 AM
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neckbone - 12/29/2006 11:44 AM

He should be disbarred. From everything I've heard, this case should have been thrown out months ago. Instead, he figured he could sacrafice a few "rich frat boys" so that he can pander to the poor crowd during the elections. These kids have had jobs withdrawn once their future employers found out they were the Duke lacross players. They should sue him for lost potential earnings.
I think Neckbone is dead on. Only the stripper AND her "buzzard" lawyers were in on it too..... After all "rich frat boys" have deep pockets...
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Old 12-29-2006, 11:28 AM
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twentynine - 12/30/2006 6:50 AM

More than likely, it ain't gonna mount up to a hill of beans. Nothing is going to come of it.
I’m thinking the same thing. He'll probably be allowed to retire on the public's dime and nothing more will come of it.

The smarmy lawyers that police the smarmy lawyer had Nifong in the bag two weeks after the charges were filed against the boys, but they sat on their asses, didn’t do a d@mn thing UNTIL the feds were called in. Suddenly the smarmy lawyers that police the smarmy lawyers came alive.

I think the smarmy lawyer that police the smarmy lawyer had intended to do nothing in the event the lacrosse boys were convicted. Kind of a ‘the end justifies the meads’ way of thinking. And they would have gotten away with it except that the feds took up the cause.

Can you image the damage to the smarmy lawyers’ if the feds nailed Nifong and the smarmy lawyers that police the smarmy lawyers had don’t nothing?!? That is the only reason they became active now.

The legal profession is an absolute cesspool of corruption.

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Old 12-29-2006, 01:44 PM
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[
The legal profession is an absolute cesspool of corruption.

[/QUOTE]


Almost as bad as the elected government, but then again, aren't most of them lawyers too?
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Old 12-29-2006, 02:54 PM
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Durham (many parts of, anyway) is a cesspool, I work there weekly...
Nifong is a race pimp, and rode the backs of the frat boys to return to office,
which he was appointed to by the Gov. having never won any election before to get there.






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Old 12-29-2006, 03:41 PM
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When I first heard about this, I had an open mind. I assumed that they were innocent until proven guilty and, based on Nifong's public comments, I assumed he must have a strong case to mouth off like he did. Then, I started reading the details and this case completely fell apart. There is no way this case even goes to trial. Nifong gives all decent attorneys, and, especially prosecutors, a very bad name.

Sam McCoy or Hamilton Burger never would have done what Nifong did...

This is a great example of why I think prosecutors and judges should NOT be elected.
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Old 12-29-2006, 06:38 PM
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greyg8r - 12/30/2006 12:41 PM

This is a great example of why I think prosecutors and judges should NOT be elected.
I mentioned this before in another thread but you are the first to mention it here; the problem isn’t just Nifong. This case also has a judge overseeing the rights of all parties. The judge has the authority and the obligation to remove a DA that behaves as Nifong did, but he didn't. The judge failed miserably in his responsibilities, too. We’re not hearing word one about the judge’s failuring.

The United States judicial system is corrupt beyond belief. It is sad to realize but a fair trial no longer exists in America.
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Old 12-29-2006, 07:23 PM
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Too many times the judges are nothing more than lawyers that knew somebody...
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Old 12-30-2006, 01:35 AM
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BoatP2Lee - 12/30/2006 4:23 PM

Too many times the judges are nothing more than lawyers that knew somebody...
That would be ALL of your federal judges. They are highly partisan political appointees masquerading within our judiciary. They have mucked things up for everyone, big time.
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Old 12-30-2006, 07:26 PM
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I have been saying for some time now that I hope Nifong is not only fired, but disbarred. He has not only proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that his mission is not to seek justice, but to display the pomposity that someone with a position of power can have when mixed with pure arrogance.
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Old 12-30-2006, 10:24 PM
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What about all the folks that piled on in the beginning.....so politically correct of the 88 Duke Professors, the Duke President, the various feminazi's, the New Black Panthers, vultures Sharpton and Hijacks'em. Makes me sick. Will these kids ever get back on track....?
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