Wednesday, December 05, 2007

DOJ’s No To Nifong Investigation

Tonight at

The U.S. Department of Justice will not investigate whether former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong engaged in criminal misconduct in his handling of the Duke lacrosse case, a DOJ spokesman said today.

"We believe the State of North Carolina has the primary interests in this matter: protecting the integrity of its judicial proceedings, holding Mr. Nifong accountable for his actions as an officer of its courts, and vindicating the principles of justice under state law," Peter Carr, a DOJ spokesman, said in a prepared statement.

"North Carolina has begun that process," he said. "Well-established principles of federalism and comity discourage federal intervention when the state has the primary interest and the state is taking remedial action. We believe the allegations relating to the North Carolina state proceedings should be addressed and resolved by the State of North Carolina." . . .

The announcement that no federal investigation will ensue does not mean Nifong won't face criminal charges.

As Carr pointed out in his statement: "Recently, the former interim Durham District Attorney Jim Hardin requested that the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation determine whether any person involved in the Duke Lacrosse prosecution engaged in criminal misconduct."

N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper this spring declared Dave Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann innocent of the charges made by escort service dancer Crystal Mangum. . . .
The entire story is here.

ABC 11 Eyewitness News’ report includes:
[…] Sources told ABC11 Eyewitness News that federal investigators had collected testimony and other court documents from Mike Nifong's ethics trial and his contempt hearing. There was also the possibility a potential federal probe would have targeted current and former members of Durham's Police Department and the Durham County District Attorney's Office.

Now it's up to the State Attorney General's Office whether to proceed with an investigation alone or not at all.

Spokeswoman Noelle Talley said without federal assistance, it would be difficult to launch an investigation into criminal wrongdoing in the Duke Lacrosse case. Unlike federal prosecutors, North Carolina cannot convene and investigative grand jury that would hand up indictments.

Talley said the State Attorney General's Office and the State Bureau of Investigation are discussing their options.

Will this DOJ decision be final as to any DOJ investigation into events related to the attempted frame-up and on-going cover-up of same?

I ask the question because since early in the case a number of attorneys I respect who have no direct involvement in the case have told me what would most likely bring the DOJ into the case, if it entered it at all, would be evidence suggesting violations of the victims’ civil rights.

From tonight’s news reports it sounds like the DOJ is responding to a request it become involved in matters involving state law.

At least that’s my lay person’s reading of DOJ Acting Deputy Attorney General Chris Morford’s letter to NC Senior Deputy Attorney General James J. Coman. (pdf form)

Is it possible, therefore, that evidence uncovered during discovery proceedings as part of the civil suits brought by the victims against Nifong, Durham City and others could result in DOJ finding a basis to investigate that presently it does not see?

I hope some of you out there with legal knowledge will respond.


Anonymous said...

I am heartsick at the DOJ decision.

Still wondering what forces contributed to it.

Anonymous said...

What would make me happy is to have a full disclosure of the illegal activities that took place on Duke Campus, in Durham Police Department, and at the "labs" of Meehan. What would make me happy is to have the THREADS of the conspiracy revealed.

What would make me happy would be for the guilty to be punished.

I frankly don't care if the State of North Carolina does it ( best case scenario. Gives the GOOD folks a chance to vindicate themselves) or if the Feds do it
( not as good, because it implies that our respected and competent folks can't do it, and that is just not the case)

What would make me happy is JUSTICE for the innocent, and punishment for the guilty.

So, isn't that the way the script is supposed to read????

Just a Thought said...

The innocent were freed and cleared, so justice has been done.

Mr. Nifong was stripped of his job and license to practice, and will soon lose his house, car, and retirement. That sounds like punishment.

Seems that is how the script already reads.

Joan Foster said...

To "Just a thought":

Nifong "screwed" and the innocent "freed and cleared" is all well and good... if one's interest in "justice" is narrowly confined to this one case.

Nifong was not alone. This Hoax was aided and abetted by numerous key players whose ideology, apathy,"old-boy" affability or outright criminality provided Nifong with the means and method to proceed.

Many of these enablers are still in place. Many of these "attitudes" are still at play. We have seen how one rogue prosecutor could masterfully manipulate the system...almost to success and easily incite an enraged local jury to make him a "winner."

The game is still on. The Tricksters gamebook is still viable. THERE HAS BEEN NO REFORM.
Many of us cared deeply about Collin, Reade, and Dave and the outrage they endured. But our concern remains for the next "victims" of North Carolina's legal loopholes. The next victims of Durham's local "justice." The kids who may not have the resources to pay lawyers thousands to uncover suppressed evidence, who may not have the media coverage as witnesses are intimidated, sweet deals are made, line-ups are rigged,procedures are ignored, notes are NOT taken.

Think of how many of these key issues still exist... the secrecy of the N.C. Grand Jury system, the frightening power of a District Attorney, the appalling ability of the media to incite with half-truths, the willingness of the local police to aid and abet a fraud.

So "Just a Thought" wish to leave this all in place and have us all leave the field? Leave the corruption all in place for the next kids that fall into their clutches? Because there will be more. People with the moral emptiness to assist Nifong are still in positions of power.The system is unchanged.

Whose sons are expendable? How limited is your capacity for caring? How selective is/was your own moral outrage at a egregious, outrageous, slick and so easily promoted..HOAX...whose successor may well be in the works today?

It's that Bigger Cause, the thought that those who have the least are the most at's that principle is what keeps many of us clamoring for investigation, accountability, and institutional change.

Danvers said...

"Just a Thought" is now posting on his previously empty blog:

His first post(s) bemoans his harsh treatment at the hands of JiC, Ralph Phelan and others.

Anonymous said...

Just a thought is quite a philosopher, isn't he? It's alright with him/her that nobody by Nifong gets axed. Wonder how the weater is in his universe? Sounds like he'd make a good USAG.

Joan Foster said...

Just a thought: you want to exchange ideas? I'm waiting for your answer to my post.

How are the least among us served by leaving these abuses unchanged, unresolved..turning our backs, moving on and leaving so many corrupt or immoral individuals, practices and/or procedures in place?

Removing a scab on the surface of a tumor will not stop the malignancy beneath the surface. Nifong was not alone.

Exposure and consequences will best protect those less fortunate and most at risk.
Settlements to these three young men do nothing for those still subjected to the corruption of those who remain in place.

Just a Thought said...

Look here:

Debrah said...

This issue goes far beyond someone as intellectually and ethically miniscule as Mike Nifong.

The corrupt and racist system is still in place which sustained and helped perpetrate this Hoax.

That the FEDS have chosen to bow out is quite disgusting.

Just a Thought said...

The corrupt and racist system

Can you expand on this point? I don't understand how the racism in the system was a factor in this case.

Anonymous said...


I noticed that "just a thought" is still posing gibberish, contrary to your admonishments

=>I don't understand how the racism in the system was a factor in this case.<=

The man is either an idiot or a fool.


Ralph Phelan said...

Just a Thought said...
So prove me wrong. Doesn't failing to make any argument make you the idiot/fool?

No, it just shows that he uses his time more wisely than I do.

Ralph Phelan said...

Just a Thought said...
The fact that people here can't defend their own opinions makes it clear that they are indefensible.

It's not that I can't explain freshman calculus, it's that I can't be bothered. The point seems so obvious to me that when you claim you don't get it I think you're either:
(a) playing dumb, and therefore not being honest, and therefore not worth bothering with or
(b) really too dumb to get it, in which case you're not worth bothering with or
(c) far more ignorant than you realize, in which case there remains some slight chance you may someday be worth bothering with.

If it's (b) or (c), go try to figure it out on your own, and then maybe you'll be sufficiently up to speed on the common knowledge of this debate that you'll actually be worth talking to.

Ralph Phelan said...

D) Disagree, but would like you to make a coherent argument why your assumed fact is true.

That would count as both (1) "playing dumb" and (2) shifting the burden. Which implies (3) bad faith.

Now that you have your own blog, why don't you comment over there, and anyone who cares to can go read it.

Your right to free speech doesn't include a right to someone else's audience if you can't

Which puts you in pretty much the same position as the Rove protesters you so love - not what the audience came to hear.

Ralph Phelan said...

"right to someone else's audience if you can't attract your own."

Anonymous said...

"Just a thought" (JAT for short) is a good monaker for the person.

I'm sure he is enjoying all this undeserved attention.

Meanwhile, he is a distraction for those of us who have been engaged in dialogue on this and the DIW and other blogsites for many months.

That JAT needs someone to explain the racist mire oozing throughout this case makes me think he just read the last 10 pages of the book without bothering to understand the characters, setting, and plot.

Nobody as brilliant as Joan
Foster needs to be wasting her superb wit and incisive intellect with this dimwit.

Let him have his tantrum, but don't let's sidetrack from the reasonable dialogue that hopefully will keep us searching for truth and justice.

There is MUCH yet to be done. The LAX three were just the bait that revealed the demons. I'm glad they escaped with their freedom, and their good names intact, but the sewer still exists. If JAT can't figure it by now, he will never figure.

He is making himself the issue, and he is much too small a figure to merit so much froth.

Anonymous said...

"Just a lonely thought" asks:
why not let Joan defend herself against my "dim wit"

Because her time is to valuable to be wasted on the likes of you. You are a timewaster and nothing more.

John, please come mop up some more monkey poo.

Anonymous said...

"Because her time is to valuable to be wasted on the likes of you."

Does she need a bodyguard? Joan responded to him:

"Just a thought: you want to exchange ideas? I'm waiting for your answer to my post."

Just let them argue it out.

Anonymous said...

There are no words to describe how infuriated I am over Mr Cooper, and the whole damn state of North Carolina. The corruption is so rampant and deep it boggles the mind! You people honestly have no idea of just how deep these roots grow, and the intentional cover-up to not disclose the truths is inexplicable! The DOJ watches these sites daily, as I have proof of it, and would gladly share them with others. I have sent them to another poster here, and he knows who he is, and who is watching, and doing NOTHING!

I NEVER imagined such depravity in our own government. They lie to protect themselves, then ignore the truths when slapped in the face with them. I have no trust whatsoever in Durham's officials, and am taking my own stand here with the help of my Congressman and Presidential hopeful, Dennis Kucinich.

If the state of NC wants to deny my family of our rights concerning my brother's murder, then the FBI, and national Government shall!
There is MUCH more to hit the fan, and I will NOT go to my grave without exposing them, seeing convictions, and massive change! My brother and our family are not alone in our sufferings. MANY families are in consummate pain each day due to the odiousness of the peanut gallery. I have no respect for these knaves, and hell is not enough for them!

Justice?! Honor?! Ethics?! These words exist in our dictionary, Durham has excluded them, and it is up to us the people to reinstate them. If 'they" refuse, we will not! This is not a game, and we have all waited long enough for "Federal Intervention." I implore you all to request your own elected officials to DEMAND disclosure, and to open the bloody lid of Pandora's box, we can handle the truth, can they?!
Rhonda Fleming
Cleveland, Ohio