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Nifong Found In Contempt, Not That it Matters

I've been given harsher sentences for a speeding ticket.

Judge Finds Duke Prosecutor in Contempt

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) - Mike Nifong, the disgraced former Durham County district attorney, was held in criminal contempt of court Friday for lying to a judge when pursuing rape charges against three falsely accused Duke University lacrosse players.

Superior Court Judge W. Osmond Smith III sentenced Nifong, who has already been stripped of his law license and has resigned from office, to a single day in jail. He had faced as many as 30 days in jail and a fine as high as $500.

"If what I impose with regard to Mr. Nifong would make things better or different for what's already happened, I don't know what it would be or how I could do it," Smith said.

Reading his contempt decision from the bench minutes after the conclusion of two days of testimony, Smith said Nifong "willfully made false statements" to the court in September when he insisted he had given defense attorneys all results from a critical DNA test.

In fact, Smith found, Nifong had provided the defense with a report on the DNA testing that he knew to be incomplete. The omitted data contained test results showing that DNA of multiple men, none of whom were lacrosse players, was on a woman who said she was attacked at a March 2006 party thrown by Duke's lacrosse team.

Wow. A prosecutor gone wild, withholding evidence in an attempt to destroy three people's lives and he gets a single day in jail? Stop and think about this for a minute.

The limitation of the state to take away liberty unfairly is perhaps one of the top 3 most important ideals in our society. So important was this to our forefathers that it takes up about half of the Bill of Rights:

The fourth amendment stops the legal system from enacting unusual search and seizures. Although this amendment is now considered optional in most states.

The fifth amendment brings us a plethora of justice related ideals.. Double jeopardy which protects citizens from a mad prosecutor repeatedly prosecuting for the same crime until he gets a conviction. The protection from self-incrimination, (Miranda, and "taking the 5th") The fifth guarantees due process and equal protection.

The sixth amendment brings us more... the promise of a speedy and public trial, a trial by jury, the right to be confronted by your accuser and the very right to have an attorney.

The seventh amendment gives us the right to a trial by jury in a civil trial as well as criminal.

The eight amendment protects us from excessive bail and cruel and unusual punishment in case of conviction.

All of this was to put limits on the state to take away liberty unjustly. -- To protect us from unruly prosecutors.

The words we hear everyday on the news and on cop shows just aren't cute buzz phrases, they are the very core of our legal system and our civilization.

Mike Nifong broke every ideal of justice in this country. He sought to tamper with the jury by television, he withheld evidence, he lied to the court about withholding evidence... he was out of control.

If you stop to think about it -really think about it- what Nifong did with his position was worse that what these 3 men where accused of doing. Rape, of course, is an abomination but when the prosecutor stands to read criminal charges, it is worded "The State vs John Doe" in the theory that the crime is a crime against the public, not just the victim....

In this case, the 3 men where accused of raping a single woman. While the ideal is nice that it is a crime against the people of the state, in reality if the accusations where true there would have been only a single victim.

An out of control prosecutor, manipulating the legal system and the evidence to take away the liberty of 3 men falsely accused, truly is a crime against all of us. And for that he deserves much more than a single day.


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Comments (20)

Nifong was a HERO to the Le... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

Nifong was a HERO to the Left when he brought these charges, and when he virorously and frequently voiced them!!

He CONVICTED them in the "court" of public opinion...in a way that the Left would have decried had it been anything OTHER than well-off WHITE boys accused.

I can only hope that during his ONE NIGHT in jail Nifong becomes the "sweetheart" of the jail!!

To me, even worse than Nifo... (Below threshold)

To me, even worse than Nifong's actions were the leftists, especially among Duke's faculty and administration and the "community," who cheered him on throughout.

We can survive the occasional rogue prosecutor. We can't survive rogue prosecutors with mobs behind them. Luckily, in this instance, the justice system was strong enough to stop the freight train of mob-backed legalized lynching. We can't count on that luck holding.

hmmm.seems like a ju... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

hmmm.
seems like a jury convicted Libby...he was sentenced...and spent not a single day in Jail..
but hey...Libby was only the number 1 guy in the office of the Vice-President of the United States..

speaking of sweethearts in jail...
Jack A.
Dukster
Ney...

but no


these folks were railroaded by Dems and every media outside of FOX...

No one was harmed by Libby,... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

No one was harmed by Libby, nogo war. Its a silly comparison.

Poor old nogo is a no go. S... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Poor old nogo is a no go. Studds? B. Franks (you know, the one that runs a whore house out of his house)? Jefferson the frezzer queen? How may days have they served? Nifong should get the same sentence the Duke kids would have got if convicted.

Does the name Sandy Berger ... (Below threshold)
jainphx:

Does the name Sandy Berger mean any thing to the left.How much jail time did he get for his treason.Oh you say none,my how is that possible I wonder?

Leave it to nogo to derail ... (Below threshold)

Leave it to nogo to derail the the thread.
"The administration!"
"Bush!"
"Republicans!"

I wonder and does anyone know - is he paying any kind of restitution to the families for their legal costs?

Let's be honest and fair he... (Below threshold)
Dave:

Let's be honest and fair here.

Nifong did not get a single day in jail for "manipulating the legal system and the evidence to take away the liberty of 3 men falsely accused". He was sentenced to 1 day in jail for _making a false statement to the judge_.

Criminal charges regarding his "manipulating the legal system and the evidence to take away the liberty of 3 men falsely accused" are still pending. Frankly, I suspect the sentence on the contempt charge was mostly to provide ammunition for _those_ proceedings. (Nifong, in his disbarrment hearings, argued that the Judge must not have felt he violated ethical rules, or he would have been sanctioned for it. Now he can no longer make that claim).

> An out of control pros... (Below threshold)
Arthur:

> An out of control prosecutor, manipulating the legal system and the evidence to take away the liberty of 3 men falsely accused, truly is a crime against all of us. And for that he deserves much more than a single day.

He does deserve more. But this is not the END of the proceedings against him. There are many more legal adventures ahead for Nifong. It's not the job of that judge to punish Nifong for everything he did wrong - just for the charge that he was convicted of.

Fitzgerald is every bit as ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Fitzgerald is every bit as out of control as Nifong; he's just a hell of a lot smarter. He'll get his comeuppance, too.
=========================================

Nogo,I know you must... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

Nogo,
I know you must write some of your replies simply to get a rise out of people - so I will voluntarily fall for your trick: you are indeed and idiot (and I am not manipulating the evidence).

Another one of those libera... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

Another one of those liberal reptiles bites the dust now lets see all those other liberal leftists lawyers get disgraced

Speaking of sweethearts in ... (Below threshold)
914:

Speaking of sweethearts in jail nogo..when are Joe and Val going to start doing their well deserved stint?

Maybe Fitz and Nif could share a cell where the could continue to conspire for the kook left undergrads like nogo.

>Nifong did not get a singl... (Below threshold)
Paul:

>Nifong did not get a single day in jail for "manipulating the legal system and the evidence to take away the liberty of 3 men falsely accused". He was sentenced to 1 day in jail for _making a false statement to the judge_.

I see the point but no... The guilty conviction was for making a false statement to the judge... but he did that while manipulating the legal system and the evidence to take away the liberty of 3 men falsely accused.

That's why we have a sentencing phase,to determine and mitigating or aggravating factors.

In this case the aggravating factors are extraordinary.

Blinkered fool, as if sin s... (Below threshold)
kim:

Blinkered fool, as if sin selects by ideology.

The list of Democrats funded by Hsu grows by the minute. MSM would have you believe the money came from illegals in sweat shops. The reality may be even more horrifying.
==================

I would like to see a dirty... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

I would like to see a dirty low life pond scum like J, TONY SERRA brought up on something he is another one of these scoundrels

Justice 58, you there? Car... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Justice 58, you there? Care to comment?

But, but, but, SOMETHING ha... (Below threshold)
kim:

But, but, but, SOMETHING happened.

Yep, a miscarriage of justice for the ages. Nifong and Fitzgerald are going to be remembered.
=====================================

It's been said already, in ... (Below threshold)
Tim in PA:

It's been said already, in the discussion about lawyers hired by the lacrosse players and families, that the fact that they were wealthy and "privileged"- and thus, coincidentally able to hire such lawyers - helped make them a target in the first place.

But that does not mean this sort of thing never happens to people who don't have the means to fight back with lawyers. I for one am not wealthy, and I'm sure I'm not the only one here who isn't.

Think for a minute and place yourself in the shoes of someone who has had their life ruined like this - aquitted even, or perhaps facing the prospect of jail time.

How far over the edge would an injustice like that push you? What would you do? What is right and wrong to someone who has been so completely betrayed by their society? This is a line we do NOT want to cross with people; it only takes once incident of doing it to the wrong person...

And they gave that son of a bitch one day in jail.

I know what you're thinking... (Below threshold)
justice58:

I know what you're thinking...1 day

Well boo *f*-*n* hoo!




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