"I get so frustrated with bloggers WHO STILL support Nifong and the prostitute. In one of your articles, will you please challenge those supporters and ask them for scientific facts to support their case. Although I support the Duke Three, I feel that my decisions are made upon an educational and rational analysis of the information provided. I guess the [Nifong and Crystal Gail Mangum] supporters make their decisions on ignorance.
"Please ask them to challenge you with facts, not he said/ she said."
I challenge them, and I challenge the voters of Durham County, North Carolina to let Mr. Nifong know on Election Day 2006 that prosecutorial abuse and voter manipulation will not be tolerated.
Mr. Nifong. Ms. Mangum and their supporters: Where's the beef?
"'Where's the beef?".... has become an all-purpose phrase questioning the substance of an idea, event or product.
"It came to public attention in a 1980s US television commercial as part of...[a] fast food advertising campaign for the Wendy's chain of hamburger restaurants. In the ad, titled 'Fluffy Bun', elderly actress Clara Peller receives a competitor's burger with a massive bun (the competitor's slogan was 'Home of the Big Bun'). The small patty prompts the gruff Peller to angrily exclaim 'Where's the beef?' The humorous ad and Peller's memorable character soon gave the catch-phrase a life of its own, and it was repeated in countless TV shows, films, magazines, and other media outlets.
"First airing on January 10, 1984, 'Fluffy Bun' featured three elderly ladies examining an exaggeratedly huge hamburger bun topped with a minuscule hamburger patty: the other two ladies poked it, exchanging bemused comments: 'It certainly is a big bun.' 'It's a big fluffy bun', before being interrupted by Peller's outraged, irascible demand. Sequels featured Peller yelling at a Fluffy Bun executive on his yacht over the phone, and coming up to drive up windows at multiple fast food restaurants that would be slammed down before she could complete the line."
The Wendy's commercials were very funny, but Durham County, North Carolina District Attorney Michael B. Nifong's prosecution (really persecution) at the behest of Crystal Gail Mangum on kidnapping, rape and sexual offense charges is tragic. It is an egregious abuse of prosecutorial power by a shameless white Democrat male about to lose a Democrat primary to a white Democrat female whom he had fired when he was appointed district attorney by North Carolina Democrat Governor Michael Easley. To snatch victory from the jaws of defeat (barely), he posed as the champion of a poor black woman who had cried rape when she about to be incarcerated and then picked out three white guys from photos of the forty-six white members of the 2006 Duke Men's Lacrosse Team. The unlucky three: Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David Evans. Not good matches for the descriptions she had given to Detective Himan (especially Collin Finnerty).
Mr. Nifong falsely assured the public that there had been a rape. At best, that was wishful thinking on his part. Ms. Mangum said that her rapists had not used condoms and that one had ejaculated, but the DNA tests showed that someone else had engaged in sexual relations with Ms. Mangum, not a white member of the Team. (The black member, who didn't rape her either, was not asked for a DNA sample, since she said all her rapists were white.) Such internal damage as Ms. Mangum had was consist with other things besides rape, and she did not have the kind of injuries to be expected if she had been subjected to the kind of brutal gang rape she claimed.
What Mr. Nifong has produced during discovery in the Duke case has been made available to MSNBC's Dan Abrams, Jeff Neff of The News & Observer "60 Minutes" and North Carolina journalist and television commentator Cash Michaels (and a few others who shall not be named here). None of them is sympathetic to racists or rapists, much less racist rapists.
On August 25, Mr. Michaels asked "Should Blacks Trust D.A. Mike Nifong?"
NO ONE should trust Mr. Nifong, but Mr. Michaels pointed out that the leader of The New Black Panthers was insisting that Mr. Nifong seeking an indictment was an assurance of guilt:
"The day before the May primary, the New Black Panther Party, the militant group led by attorney Malik Zulu Shabazz, held a march and rally in Durham to express outrage over the case.
"Shabazz also called a concerned D.A. Nifong personally, who asked the Black leader not to make trouble during his group’s controversial visit.
"During a standing-room-only rally at St. Joseph’s A.M.E. Church on the eve of the primary election, Shabazz told the audience that he was convinced the Black alleged victim was beaten and raped by members of the predominately white Duke lacrosse team, and that Nifong had the evidence to prove it.
“'Duke University is too powerful. If Seligmann and Finnerty were innocent of these crimes, the prosecutor here never would have had them indicted,' Shabazz told the audience. 'You don’t mess with young men like that, unless you’ve got a case.'
“'That grand jury heard some serious, serious evidence.'"
Mr. Shabazz was wrong about Mr. Nifong, the lacrosse players and the evidence presented to the grand jury that indicted Reade Seligmann and Collin Dinnerty. Mr. Nifong personally benefited greatly from having those two indicted and was deaf and blind to exculpatory evidence; the lacrosse players did not kidnapp, rape or sexuallly offend Ms. Mangum; and the evidence the grand jury heard was selective and tainted.
Mr. Michaels: "All of the state’s evidence has to be turned over to the defense in discovery, including whatever is generated from the police lab’s downloading from computers confiscated from the defendants’ dorm rooms."
THERE IS NO BEEF!
But, there is a perverse pleasure taken by some delighted with the reality of the case.
See, for example, this post on an ABC TV board that followed the "60 Minutes" expose on the Duke case:
"What makes you think that 60 minutes BS story is working? As of right now, the case still exist[s]. Mike Nifong is getting ready for a hearing this week, nothing has changed his mind about the case. The only differ[e]nce today is that...you are so angry because the case is not over.
"Handle your emotions because they're out of control. Keep them in check, its not becoming to you. Anger makes your heart beat faster and cause[s] all kinds of problems to the human body. That can't be good.
"You don't like the fact that Mike Nifong is prosecuting the 3 rich white duke students on the word of a poor black mother of 2. Hey, deal with it, nothing is going to change what the duke 3 did. They reaped it on themselves. Now, they don't like the prison idea and want the public to believe they were young, naive, and lived such a sheltered life. Such BS trash and you're falling for it. You know...Birds of a feather......"
When I announced that "60 minutes" was on the Duke case, I predicted that after the broadcast of the expose, "It finally will be obvious to all but the oblivious that there was no kidnapping, or rape, or sexual offense, but there was a false accusation and an opportunistic prosecutor fighting for his job."
To Mr, Nifong, I wrote: “Sure, you played the race card, it won you the Durham County, North Carolina District Attorney Democrat primary, and that would be tantamount to election if you are not exposed before Election Day 2006 as a shameless political hack whom Durham County‘s good people will not want back, Mr. Bradley, ‘60 Minutes’' Ed, will leave you politically dead. You’ll wish you had refused to play the race card and acted professionally instead of politically and objectively instead of objectionably."
"60 Minutes" did not let the Duke Three (or me) down.
Now it's up to the Durham County voters not to let the Duke Three or THEMSELVES down.
The writer of the post quoted above is one of the oblivious.
The Duke case should not continue to trial unless there is sufficient evidence to permit a guilty verdict.
There is no such evidence.
As Mr. Michaels wrote:
"That’s what supporters of the alleged rape victim in the Duke lacrosse case haven’t seen yet, a shred of evidence from Durham Police investigators, or Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong, proving their case that over five months ago a brutal kidnapping and sodomy occurred."
Like the Emperor's new clothes in the childhood story, it exists only in imagination.
Mr. Michaels seemed to me to be preparing his readers for the reality that the Duke Three are innocent, Ms. Mangum falsely cried rape and Mr. Nifong manipulated enough black voters to win that primary last May:
"If the case does make it to trial, once the state finishes presenting its evidence and sworn testimony, defense attorneys can then make motions to dismiss, claiming the prosecution has failed to meet its burden of proof.
"Again, if Judge Smith agrees, the case is over, Prof. Joyner says, and the three defendants walk.
"So whatever cards Nifong hasn’t shown so far will have to become evident soon, and be strong enough to convince the presiding judge that a jury of Durham County citizens should consider the merits.
"Given what’s known about the evidence so far, that would be a big 'if.'"
It also seemed to me that many of Mr. Michaels' readers had been deceived and should be aggrieved:
"While many in the African-American community still very much believe that, if not a sexual assault, 'something' very wrong happened to the woman hired by Duke lacrosse team captains to exotically dance at their wild off-campus team party last March, there is also growing concern not only that the D.A. may have crippled his own case with public pronouncements he couldn’t back up, but may have actually known for some time he didn’t have the strong evidence he needed to successfully prove his case in a court of law.
“'I have not backed off from my initial assessment of the case,' Nifong declared to the news media in his last press conference on July 28. 'Obviously, there were some things we hoped we would have as evidence that we ended up not having.'
"That statement was a tacit admission, critics say, that in the aftermath of the prosecution’s release, and media examination of, over 1800 pages of discovery evidence to defense attorneys, Nifong may not be able to overcome the high standard of reasonable doubt he faces if the case indeed goes to trial.
"In fact, that statement was part of an emerging, and disturbing pattern in the case.
“'It doesn’t mean nothing happened; it just means nothing was left behind,' Nifong told about 400 people gathered in the gymnasium of North Carolina Central University in Durham last April, the day after the first set of DNA tests reportedly failed to show any sexual contact between the alleged victim and any of the over 40 lacrosse players at the party.
“'This case is not over,' Nifong assured the cheering, predominately Black audience, adding that in his 27 years as a prosecutor, he’s proved rape cases long before there was DNA testing."
The case should have been over, and it will be, sooner or later.
What is now up for decision is whether Mr. Nifong will be elected on November 7 or Lewis Cheek, the Anybody But Nifong candidate, is elected and gives Governor Easley another chance to appoint a decent district attorney.
It was obvious to those who watched the "60 Minutes" expose that Ed Bradley, who did the interviewing and is black; Duke Law Professor James Coleman, who explained proper identification procedure and is black; and Kim Roberts, the second stripper who was expected to be a key prosecution witness, refuted key parts of Ms. Mangum's story and is black, all realize that Mr. Nifong's prosecution of the Duke Three is abusive, not appropriate.
There is a saying that the Durham County voters, particularly black voters, should think about before voting on November 7: fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.
Durham County will bring shame upon itself if it elects the shameless Mr. Nifong.
Mr. Michaels reported:
"The NC NAACP...early in [the Duke] case made it known that it would be monitoring the investigation to make sure that it was fair to all sides....
“'The NAACP’s aim is to follow the evidence as it unfolds, reporting it accurately and fairly, always seeking justice and rebuilding community,' attorney Al McSurely, chair of the NC NAACP’s Legal Redress Committee, said in a statement in mid-April."
Will the NC NAACP admit that it was deceived and oppose Mr. Nifong's reelection, in the interest of justice and to send a message that manipulating black voters will not be tolerated?
Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.
Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.
The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.
Gaynor currently contributes regularly to www.MichNews.com, www.RenewAmerica.com, www.WebCommentary.com, www.PostChronicle.com and www.therealitycheck.org and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.