"In summary, you [Duke University President Richard H. Brodhead] have failed these young men; you have failed to demonstrate the courage, sense of honor and strong judgment that a leader must have to be successful. You have failed the parents of these student athletes and, most importantly, you have failed to properly lead Duke University through this difficult challenge. There are situations where the great qualities of leaders emerge or where their worst qualities are exposed. Unfortunately, for all those affected, you have been exposed."
KC Johnson's choices for the most outrageous and the next most outrageous quotes of the Duke case:
"1.) 'I mean, if I were one of those [defense] attorneys, I wouldn’t really want to try a case against me either.'--Mike Nifong, following his primary victory, May 2006.
"The statement speaks for itself.
"2.) 'If our students did what is alleged, it is appalling to the worst degree. If they didn’t do it, whatever they did is bad enough.'"--Richard Brodhead, April 20, 2006, to Durham Chamber of Commerce, in his first public appearance after the arrests of Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty. We know now 'whatever' Finnerty and Seligmann did: they attended a party they played no role in organizing and they drank some beer."
It's a tough call as to who was worse--Nifong or Brodhead.
Giving it to the now convicted criminal who spent a whole day in a Durham jail instead of the Cowardly Political Correctness Cretin who genuflects before the Ghoulish Group of 88 is fine with me.
But that Nifong quote makes a lot of sense.
What local attorney would want to try a case against Nifong?
How dangerous is it for a local attorney to fill a grievance against a sitting district attorney, especially a petty tyrant like Nifong?
Brad Bannon said that Nifong loudly threatened to castrate his senior partner, Joe Cheshire, without anesthesia, for calling him on his outrageous behavior.
Or to make a motion to have a sitting district attorney, especially a petty tyrant like Nifong, removed from a case based on misconduct?
The late Kirk Osborn did it, and died of a massive heart attack before the year was over.
Nifong, sleep well. Unless you repent, you'll be going to hell.
Nifong brazenly made outrageous public statements, shamelessly played the race card, had the public support of the Durham Police Department as well as his office, had an offer of support from the Conference of North Carolina District Attorneys, had the backing of the national and local media, didn't care about the truth, concealed exculpatory information, lied to the court and opposing counsel, and had to be removed from the case before the case could be won.
The wrongly indicted players and their families suffered more than they have said as a result of the Duke case and the ordeal continued for more than a year.
The only way to end it was to prove in court what I had reported repeatedly beginning in June 2006--that the DNA results revealed the presence of multiple male DNA not from any lacrosse player--and show that Nifong had been hiding that exculpatory evidence.
The defense finally did it. But only after Judge Osmond Smith replaced Judges Ronald Stephens and Judge Kenneth Titus!
Anyone think those pro-Nifong judges would have ordered the production of the documentation that allowed exposure?
Remember, Nifong and Dr. Brian Meehan vigorously opposed production of that documentation and neither of the prior judges acted on Mr. Osborn's bold removal motion (in which the other defense teams did not join and which James Cooney withdrew after he replaced Mr. Osborn as Reade Seligmann's lead attorney, but NOT because it was not meritorious).
I think President Brodhead's statement is the more outrageous, and grounds for his removal from office.
As Mr. Brodhead read last year:
"The circus atmosphere that existed on and around the Duke campus this spring was inflamed by the actions, or lack of them, by you and your administration.
"The stress, trauma and uncertainty that have been experienced through this ordeal by all the members of the team and their parents would have been moderated if they knew the university stood behind the students to whom it had made a moral commitment by accepting them as members of the Duke student body....I can only begin to imagine the nightmare being experienced by the boys and their parents.
"Leadership comes with many challenges and responsibilities. Leaders are successful when they exhibit the courage to do the right thing no matter how difficult. If courage is based on honor and commitment, it has a strong foundation. As the great leader Winston Churchill said, 'Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality that guarantees all others.' Unfortunately, as a leader, you exhibited a complete lack of courage as events unfolded and your team stood abandoned in front of an onslaught of false accusations and politically correct slander.
"I believe that in your role as president you have failed these student athletes; you have failed their parents who had placed their trust in you as a guardian of their sons; most of all, you failed to validate a system of honor, which should be the basis of student life at Duke.
"While some of the other actions of the lacrosse team that night were less than attractive and acceptable, they could have been dealt with through focused disciplinary actions. I make no excuse for these other activities.
"I do believe by telling the truth and not giving in to those who advocated a politically expedient admission of guilt, the members of the Duke Lacrosse team have demonstrated a standard of honor of which Duke should be proud.
"To again paraphrase Churchill in his war time speech to the students at Churchill's old public [private] school, Harrow, he said, 'Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.'
"In summary, you have failed these young men; you have failed to demonstrate the courage, sense of honor and strong judgment that a leader must have to be successful. You have failed the parents of these student athletes and, most importantly, you have failed to properly lead Duke University through this difficult challenge. There are situations where the great qualities of leaders emerge or where their worst qualities are exposed. Unfortunately, for all those affected, you have been exposed.
"In fairness to the university and the student body, I strongly suggest you resign so that a leader with the necessary qualities can be appointed."
Of course, on such an important decision, President Brodhead should seek a second opinion.
I suggest he ask a Pulitizer Prize nominee and the Melville expert, Professor Emeritus Hershel Parker, whether he (Brodhead) rushed to judgment and refused to relent one time too many.
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.