Skip to comments.Nifong Nation - Botched prosecutions go far beyond the borders of Durham
Posted on 05/07/2007 11:44:40 AM PDT by neverdem
To their great credit, the Duke lacrosse players who were exonerated of rape charges by North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper earlier this month understood that for all the hell they've gone through the past year, what happened to them isn't uncommon.
"There seem to be some flaws in the legal system that should be addressed," Colin Finnerty said, "the fact that in North Carolina there are no recordings of the grand jury, and to establish checks and balances on district attorneys."
Reade Seligmann, who had an iron-clad alibi to counter District Attorney Mike Nifong's accusation but was nonetheless dragged through the mud, added, "I can't imagine what they do to people who do not have the resources to defend themselves."
(Excerpt) Read more at reason.com ...
I don’t think the word “botched” applies. “Botched” implies that it was a mistake. This guy did it on purpose.
Nifongs media whore arrogance only exposed what is a daily routine.
How many talking heads said a “ham sandwich can be indicted by a grand jury” or “grand juries are just rubber stamps for prosecutors”.
Prosecutors act like Nifong as a matter of routine. They rack up their convictions because their defendants have to choose between risking jail and losing jobs, income and family.
A Nifong style railroading leading to a conviction would not stop child support, feed a current family, or even allow for the paying of any bills. A railroaded defendant without the resources of a defense has to sell their good name to the prosecutor in exchange for physical freedom.
I agree that convicting innocent people is probably much more common that is generally believed. The Prosecutors who do this are power-hungry, lawyer-politicians, who must convict in order to keep their job (or advance to higher office). Can you think of any worse combination than a lawyer-politician that can take your freedom or even your life from you?”
At least one of them is running for President right now and another one from the same state is trying very hard to follow him. We need to have Persecutors held accountable. Those who have been proved to have convicted an innocent person should spend an equal time in jail.
And the DA? She's still in office nine years later.
“I can’t imagine what they do to people who do not have the resources to defend themselves.”
They go to jail. Or they get a court-appointed attorney, who meets them for the first time at the trial, and then they go to jail.
The job of DA is a natural magnet for psychopaths and should be abolished. There are two basic parts to any effective solution to these seemingly unfixable problems with our judicial system: We need to get rid of the “war on drugs”, and we need to get rid of the adversarial system of justice and the job of professional prosecutor. It should not be hard to devise a better system than we presently have.
Would you rather have everyone charged with a crime who the police thought were guilty?
There has to be a better way. The job of DA has gigantic powers and almost nothing you could call accountability; that’s a magnet for the Nifongs, Janet Renos, Ronnie Earles and Fitzgeralds of the world.
Most DA's are elected. They have the same accountability, to the voters, that any other elected office has. Democracy does not shield us from "psychopaths" that are sometimes voted in to various elected offices. The solution is to vote them out. However, this solution is often disregarded, witness the long career of Ted Kennedy.
If in fact Nifonging is going on routinely, then the accountability of the ballot box is inadequate. Full stop.
The question before the house is whether nifonging is in fact common - and, if so, what mechanisms might change the incentives our nifongs face. Clearly Nifong himself faced the need to get elected in a venue in which the black vote was crucial, and that led to the malicious prosecution of three whites. And the same thing has definitely happened in reverse, especially historically but undoubtedly even today.
In cases when the black is the target, it's only too likely that the black has nowhere near the resources behind him that the Duke young men had behind them. And the black has the additional liability of belonging to a group which in fact is the source of a disproportionate fraction of our crime. So a black accused of a crime is a "Dog Bites Man" story; the Duke case was Man Bites Dog and that not only made it a juicy story but it raised the stakes. Nifong got his reelection, but he also got nationwide publicity that helped to bring him down.
It is an outrage if a prosecutor prosecutes with reference to politics at any time. Equally it is an outrage if the prosecutor refuses to prosecute with reference to politics, when the evidence would justify a conviction.
IMO, selective prosecution is the most pernicious form of corruption in any nation.
"Our military is at war. Americans are at the mall..." Definitely worth a gander!
From time to time, Ill ping on noteworthy articles about politics, foreign and military affairs. FReepmail me if you want on or off my list.
Reade Seligmann, who had an iron-clad alibi to counter District Attorney Mike Nifong's accusation but was nonetheless dragged through the mud, added, "I can't imagine what they do to people who do not have the resources to defend themselves."They tell them, "we're going to take your money away from you for your own good."
Thanks for the ping!