Disgraced Nifong Should Resign Now
In 2002, HALT, An Organization Of Americans For Legal Reform, undertook the first comprehensive evaluation of the legal profession's system of self-regulation in ten years. Of fifty-one "Lawyer Discipline Report Cards" issued (one for each state and the District of Columbia), the State Bar of North Carolina ranked fifieth in the nation. Only North Carolina and Pennsylvania flunked outright, each then receiving an overall grade of "F."
In 2006, HALT again issued Report Cards on lawyer accountability. In the interim, overall performance of the Pennsylvania Grievance Committee leapt to fifth best in the country. North Carolina? Fiftieth. The NC Bar received "Incomplete" grades in the categories of "Adequacy of Discipline Imposed" and "Promptness" because it failed to provide data related to those categories to the American Bar Association. Actually, it failed to provide the data because it doesn't even keep records or statistics attending such insignificant issues. Incredibly, despite the pig circus staged by the Bar in the aftermath of Hoke & Graves v. Gell, the NC Grievance Committee somehow did manage to raise its overall grade, to a pitiful "D."
The criminal misconduct of David Hoke and Debra Graves during the prosecution of Alan Gell would have resulted in the state-sanctioned murder of an innocent man but for the heroic perseverance of Mary Pollard and Jim Cooney. Hoke and Graves were ultimately "tried" for their unconscionable behavior before the NC State Bar Grievance Committee. They made out quite well, thank you very much. They are still practicing law, still prosecuting cases for the State's Attorney General, still wielding the full armament of the State's power to deprive individuals of their personal liberties, and their lives. Criminal charges never followed. Incarceration was never really their concern.
No one cared.
Okay, okay, Gell cared. His mom cared. Bill Anderson cared. Thankfully, so did his appellate attorneys and Joe Neff. But, really, a poor, red neck petty criminal wrongly convicted of killing a poor, red neck pedophile in a poor North Carolina town? Ho Hum. Woefully insufficient to wake the drive-by media. Woefully insufficient to warrant ink in newspapers outside Bertie and contiguous counties. Woefully insufficient to spur the Bar to abandon the usual business of protecting its own, particularly those ensconced in the mail of State Prosecutorial Power.
Well, people care now. Rich white male power rules. Good thing for the sons.
Now, the whole world is watching.
The whole world is watching! The whole world is watching!
The whole world is watching and waiting to see if the State Bar will yet again thumb its nose at the Constitution; The Canon of Ethics; The Disciplinary Rules; The beyond-a-doubt evidence of a criminal frame-up orchestrated by an avaricious agent of the State solely for personal gain. The whole world is watching and waiting to see the State Bar try to save Good Ol' Blues Brothers Band Boy Nifong.
Hee hee hee hee.
Nah gah doit.
Can Governor Mike Easley, he of, um, higher political aspirations, allow the citizenry of forty-nine states to point at his as the one break-away Banana Republic of our Union? The one sovereign tobacco field where the Constitution simply doesn't apply? Of course not!
Wouldn't be prudent.
That's not to say Nifonging doesn't happen daily throughout the country. It does. But the whole world isn't watching the other forty nine states. The whole world is watching Mike Easley's. Why? Because Mike Easley personally appointed an immoral, sociopathic liar to be a State's "Minister of Justice." He didn't know it at the time, of course. But he's still fucked. The other forty nine governors must hit their knees every night, look heavenward, and exclaim, "Thank you, Jesus!"
Can the State Attorney General's Office risk exposing itself and, by extension, the State itself, to incalculable civil damages for further perpetuating a wrongful prosecution that never should have been brought nearly a very long, very wrong, year ago? Shirley, you jest.
Do you wonder at all whether Easley and Cooper, or minions on their behalf, have had double secret communications with the Grievance Committee of the State Bar? Me neither. Does anyone think it odd that Easley kept his trap shut for months and months and months and months and months as Nifong built the Hoax but now just can't stop yammering on about how he was LIED TO by that duplicitous little prick? I don't. Easley knows what's heading Mikey's way. Damage Control Central, we got an off-schedule train comin' two miles out.
I feel sorry for the North Carolina Bar. I really do sympathize with the Gentleman's Club. Were it not for that damn Crystal Mangum and her fantastic lies, business might have continued as usual in North Carolina. Durham railroads might have forever run on schedule. Durham problems might have forever commanded merely Durham solutions. But Defendant Nifong had to go and fuck it all up by picking on the wrong families. What a dumbass. If he weren't an egomaniacal, narcissistic sociopath possessed of but Tar Heel intellect, he would have thought through the potential consequences of picking on the wrong families. But he's not, so he didn't, and now, hell, everything's gotta change. The Bar and the State must, at least, convey the appearance of giving a damn about that silly piece of parchment deteriorating under bullet-proof glass in Washington. What with the whole world watching, and all. Nifong gives them that chance.
So, the disgraced Defendant Nifong should resign now. Because of the blog attention devoted to the Duke Hoax, millions of people, myself included, now know of the Gell Frame and the Bar's essential sanctioning of it. The Bar simply cannot act, or fail to act, in Matter of Nifong as it did in Matter of Hoke and Graves. It has made clear that it is going to bend him over. Stick a fork in Mikey's law license. He's done. Continued petulant defiance only hurts his position on the end of the plank, but he's just not wired to appreciate it. He's too stupid to see that he would be better served looking for another job, now.
Irving Joiner and Al McSurely, on behalf of the NCNAACP, should talk to the defendant and demand his immediate resignation. His continued presence at the helm of the Durham County D.A.'s office is a grave threat to all innocent defendants of color compromised by lack of the financial means to retain counsel and experts capable of deciphering a sham prosecution.
Ruth Sheehan, Cathy Davidson, Karla Holloway, Wahneema Lubiano and NOW's Bennett and Hopper should also demand an audience with the defendant to urge that he step down. His perpetuation of the Crystal Mess, Mangum's "fantastic lies," has immeasurably set back the interwoven causes of militant feminists and the "group rights" reverse racists, as well as the struggle of real rape victims to be accepted as truthful when reporting crimes of sexual violence.
His staff most of all should demand Nifong's disappearance, forthwith and forever, from the halls of the Durham County Judicial Building. His unscrupulous character paints each and every one of them, and the good work resulting from their collective efforts, with an unfairly colored brush. Well, each and every one except those guilty of complicity in furthering the Hoax. Maybe Big C and Saacks can talk some sense into him.