The Duke Lacrosse team case is making it easy for attacks on prosecution in general to occur. For an example, read this editorial/blog.
kind of surprised to see this from the WSJ.
kind of a leap from the Duke case to child sexual assault cases everywhere, but . . . oh yeah, she wrote a book called No Crueler Tyrannies about miscarriages of justice including a long section on the Amirault case.
cut and paste.
[This message was edited by David Newell on 01-11-07 at .]
One rotten apple can spoil the barrel for the rest of the apples (if I may be granted liberty to mangle a popular idiom).
That's why you always have to look at the bigger picture, folks.
rotten oranges are just as bad . . . by comparison.
Prosecutor may be off Duke case
Facing ethics charges, DA asks state to appoint a replacement
10:54 PM CST on Friday, January 12, 2007
RALEIGH, N.C. � Facing ethics charges that could lead to his disbarment, the embattled district attorney in the Duke lacrosse sexual assault case has asked the state attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor to take over the case.
Noelle Talley, a spokeswoman for the attorney general, said Friday in an e-mail that District Attorney Mike Nifong sent a letter requesting the special prosecutor.
Mr. Nifong's attorney insisted the veteran prosecutor was not running from a weak case and said Mr. Nifong was disappointed he would not take it to trial.
"He feels, as a result of the accusations against him, that he would be a distraction, and he wants to make sure the accuser receives a fair trial," attorney David Freedman told The Associated Press. "He still believes in the case. He just believes his continued presence would hurt her."
January 12, 2007, 1:08 p.m.
Let Me Tell You a Little Something About Law & Order
By Fred Thompson
You know, I not only play a prosecutor on TV, I used to actually be one. So when I see something like the farce that's playing out in North Carolina it makes my blood boil.
Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong, who brought the Duke Lacrosse players rape case, has violated just about every rule in the prosecutor's book. He sat on evidence that indicated the defendant's innocence. The alleged victim's statements were inconsistent and he had never even talked to her when he brought the rape charges, which he has now had to dismiss. The attorney for one of the Duke students tried to show Nifong physical evidence which would have demonstrated that the student was not even present when the alleged incident took place but Nifong refused to meet with him. The whole the time he was making public statements alleging the defendant's guilt.
Now Nifong's case is crumbling and the North Carolina Bar Association, as well as the North Carolina DA's Association, is on his case. He's facing much-deserved calls for his resignation. Maybe this will remind us just how important and powerful these prosecutor's jobs are. People's freedom, reputations, and very lives are in their hands. And, as one wag so aptly put it: A prosecutor could, indeed, get a ham sandwich indicted if he wanted to. My experience is that the large majority of them are dedicated public servants But when one of them gives in to self interest and public pressure no greater injustice can be imagined.
In the North Carolina case, 88 Duke professors (civil libertarians, I'm sure), praised the DA and many in the black community pressured him as he rushed to judgment against these accused students in the midst of his reelection campaign. And for the media the story had everything - sex, rich vs. poor, the racial element - everything but proof of guilt. These accused young men are forever tarnished, but at least they can afford to defend themselves. What about the less fortunate who cannot? There is a lot at stake when we go to the polls to vote for a local prosecutor. We should never forget that. They, like judges they sometime have to stand against the howling mob, not become a part of it.
-- Fred Thompson is an actor and former United States senator from Tennessee.
(PAUL HARVEY SHOW, ABC RADIO NETWORKS)
National Review Online - http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YmZlOWUwOWQyNzFhN2E2MGNmNmY3MDJmNGM0NjU5Yjk=
Is the statement that prosecutors have "managed to convict scores of innocent Americans on the basis of testimony no rational mind could credit," more of an indictment against evil prosecutors or against the jury system? Surely it must refer in some measure to both. The use of case notoriety during a political campaign is a clear problem. But, that problem has roots in the elective system and also (or perhaps because) so many decisions remain race-motivated (without regard to the individual actors). The pendulum will continue to swing based on marginal conduct and outcomes. We have nothing new to worry about.
Not wanting to sound too defense oriented, but just who is it that's supposed to get a fair trial?
You do not sound defense-oriented to me. You sound like someone who has actually read the United States Constitution.
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