Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Lawyers Say Nifong Should Recuse

by John Stevenson - January 8th, 2007 - The Herald Sun

DURHAM -- The N.C. State Bar's recent decision to charge District Attorney Mike Nifong with ethical violations almost certainly presents the prosecutor with a conflict of interest in the Duke lacrosse sex-offense case, several lawyers and professors said Monday.

Because he now must defend his handling of the case in an effort to save his law license, Nifong has a personal stake in the outcome and is duty-bound to step aside in the interest of fairness, according to the lawyers and instructors.

Let me see now. A prosecutor refuses to meet with a defendant who has proof he is innocent and instead this DA continues to insist on the defendant's guilt to the press. This is the same defendant whose DNA the prosecutor was told was not present either on the accuser or in the bathroom where the offense supposedly takes place, thereby negating the possibility he was involved. Wouldn't you think a prosecutor who cared about justice would meet with the defendant and end the case? Instead the prosecutor hid the DNA evidence from the defendant and all others involved in the trial in violation of court rules.

In fact this is one of many defendants whose pictures were a part of 3 separate illegal photo arrays of exclusively the lacrosse team players at Duke provided to the accuser. When the accuser picked out 2 players that were not present at the party where the incident was supposed to take place, she was asked to try again and provided only pictures of people who were present so she could "identify" someone the prosecutor could charge. This too was hidden from the defendants. To top off this farce, none of the defendants the accuser selected in the final array match the descriptions she originally gave when filing the complaint.

The real embarrassment in this article are the quotes of people who defend Nifong. Though said to be lawyers (and thus in conflict with the article's title) I wonder how they can be. Just what part of "innocent until proven guilty" do they not understand? Wait a minute and let me think. . . . . Okay. I am wrong. They can be attorneys. It is actually typical of attorneys in our corrupt court system. They think it is all about performance and winning.

Our system is an adversarial system and attorneys think guilt or innocence are irrelevant to the process. They think the best attorney should win. And that is exactly what is wrong with our system. Most of its practitioners do not have a clue what justice is or how to get it. They are so imbued with the brainwashing provided by our law schools that they do not even understand how statements defending Nifong sound to those of us who hold their system in contempt.

Why is anyone surprised Nifong still will not step aside? He is an attorney.


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