Thursday, September 06, 2007

The NC AG in Durham?

Durham Herald Sun’s reported :

Durham County Interim District Attorney Jim Hardin has asked state officials to determine whether current or former government officials should face criminal prosecution over their handling of the Duke lacrosse case.

The request was confirmed Wednesday by Noelle Talley, spokeswoman for state Attorney General Roy Cooper.

Potential targets include anyone who acted "under the color of law enforcement," meaning former District Attorney Mike Nifong and an array of people in the Durham Police Department.
I’ve already posted once tonight on the H-S story here.

That post was all reporting.

Now, some brief commentary with more to follow tomorrow - - -

I obviously don’t know whether NC Attorney General Roy Cooper will agree to launch a criminal investigation.

I think it’s likely he will, but there may be one or more law or procedure-based reason(s) why his office would not.

Regardless of which way the AG decides, what makes tonight’s story so important is this: Hardin’s request helps “push” the investigation of criminal activity during the Duke lacrosse “investigation” away from Durham “authorities” such as city manager Patrick Baker, who praised what Nifong and Durham police did during the Duke lacrosse “investigation.”

If AG Cooper says, “My office agrees with Hardin’s request. We’ll take the case,” then you have the same investigative office looking into criminal activity that looked into Nifong and DPD’s “investigation” and declared the players “innocent” and found Nifong to be “a rogue prosecutor.”

I don’t have any problem with an investigation of criminal activity in the case going from Hardin’s office to Cooper’s.

If, on the other hand, Cooper feels he has to say, “No,” what do we have?

We have a situation where there are possible civil rights suits pending. They’d be filed by some of the best known attorneys in the country. What’s more, the situation involves a former DA who’s been disbarred and found guilty of criminal contempt; and a current interim DA who’s just asked the state to step in and launch a criminal investigation into the conduct of the disgraced DA and others.

If the state has to pass on Hardin’s request, what he’s done, and the circumstances that led him to do it, has surely added to the pressure on the Feds to come to Durham.

So whichever way Cooper decides, Hardin’s request today moves us further down the road to understanding what was done in an attempt to frame three innocent young men as well as what has been done, and is still being done, in an ongoing conspiracy to cover-up the frame-up.

I’m sure even Durham’s city manager, Patrick Baker, himself an attorney, will tell you that, provided you catch him in an honest moment.

But if you plan on doing that, be quick.

Moving on –

I know many of you think attorneys Scheck and Sullivan coming to Durham today on behalf of the young man some people here worked hard to frame while our city’s leaders looked on may have had something to do with Hardin’s request.

Well, so do I.

But that doesn’t change anything else I said in this post.

It's a big step forward that Hardin, who recommended Nifong to succeed him as DA, today recommended the state AG launch a criminal investigation of Nifong and others acting under “color of law?”

Let’s all stay at it. There much more that needs to be done.


Anonymous said...

John: Very logically presented and I agree with your conclusions. The only aspect that continues to trouble me is the question of federal inquiries. I tend to agree with Bill Anderson who wants the State of NC to take on the inquiry and prosecute; will it? I have my doubts after seeing how state and local officials have circled the wagons to date. On the other hand, I don't have much faith that the USDOJ will do much more than wring its collective hands and shake its collective fingers. IOW there is litle testicular presence in the FBI or its parent when it comes to protecting the rights of non-minorities. I believe the pound of flesh will be extracted by Scheck et all in their civil suits, thus obviating state and federal prosecution. And I eagerly await the evisceration of all guilty parties.