With Collin Out of the Attic, Nifong Soon Will Be Out of Office
A very concerned relative was emphatic about the need for Collin Finnerty to leave the attic. Now she should be ecstatic.
On July 14, that very concerned relative who obviously thought that it was a mistake for Collin to remain silent posted this unambiguous message at the Friends of Duke University website:
"To Collin's family: stop hiding him in the attic. IF he is innocent of all the charges let him hold his head high and face the courts and the cameras and the judges and proclaim to the world who he is. Time to grow up and face the charges like a man - even though you probably are guilty of nothing you need to jump off the speeding train or at least change tracks before they railroad you right into the BIG HOUSE."
That relative was fully confident that Collin was not guilty of any of the three felony charges on which he had been indicted--rape, kidnapping and sexual offense. She was right, of course. She knew that even before Collin and co-defendant Reade Seligmann followed the example of co-captain David Evans and took and passed a polygraph test. For a plethora of reasons, Collin simply would not have behaved that way.
The grotesque gang rape charge was absurd as to each of the Duke Three, but it fit the Left's political agenda and Mr. Nifong's personal agenda perfectly, so they treated it as bona fide instead of bogus.
Unfortunately, Collin and Reade were not only advised to be silent immediately after they were accused and indicted, but to continue to remain silent and, in Collin's case, not to detail his alibi (so that Mr. Nifong would not harass your alibi witnesses or try to rewrite the accuser's story).
The stay silent advice is great for the guilty (who usually will make things worse for themselves and easier for the prosecution by talking). It is not necessarily great advice for the innocent, especially innocent persons who can profess their innocence convincingly and especially when (1) the innocent are being accused of monstrous acts, (2) the prosecutor doesn't care about the truth, is determined to convict them and is up for election, (3) the mainstream media is eager to improve ratings and sell newspapers and magazines by treating the accuser as a victim instead of a liar or a hallucinator and the defendants as villains instead of victims, (4) Duke University is suspending your from school so long as the case is pending and (5) the prosecution is not in a hurry to try the case. For innocent persons, it can be bad advice.
At the end of June, Collin's parents had appeared on NBC ("Today") and MSNBC ("The Abrams Report") to defend their wrongly accused son and to humanize him. But when one is old enough to vote, one is old enough to speak for oneself, and the support of one's parents is expected, not newsworthy.
Collin's silence had not averted his conviction of assault in the District of Columbia last July. He not only had not testified, but it was reported on the first day of a two-day trial that he would not testify. Independent legal experts who followed the case believed that reasonable doubt had been shown. The Judge who decided the case seemed to have been (1) strange and (2) prejudiced by the then common suspicion that Collin was a gang rapist.
Lest the Duke Three follow up on David Evans' stellar performance after he was wrongly indicted (Collin's parents television appearance seemed to be the beginning of a campaign to expose the hoax as a hoax), Judge Titus, on his own initiative, suddenly issued a gag order to stop potential witnesses, including the Duke Three, from communicating with the media about the Duke case.
That was great news for Mr. Nifong, who had done his damage and was pleased to have an excuse not to discuss the case further as the multitude of problems with it surfaced.
Moreover, "60 Minutes" was on the case, and the gag order was an obstacle.
The defense moved four days later to modify, pointing out that the gag order was unconstitutional. Judge Titus kept that motion in his "later" pile as long as he was the judge on the case. He and Mr. Nifong are both up for election in November and each hopes to be kept in his respective office.
Fortunately, Judge Osmond Smith replaced Judge Titus and lifted the gag order on potential witnesses on September 22.
That was great news for the Duke Three and "60 Minutes" and a disaster for Mr. Nifong.
Fittingly, in a perverse way, The Herald Sun, a Durham newspaper that has supported Durham County, North Carolina District Attorney Michael D. Nifong long after it became evident that he was a scoundrel, announced terrible news for Mr. Nifong: "A CBS '60 Minutes' segment on the controversial Duke University lacrosse rape case is expected to air Sunday evening and will include interviews with all three indicted players and Kim Roberts Pittman, the second dancer at the party where the attack allegedly occurred."
The Herald Sun persisted in calling the Duke case a "rape case" instead of acknowledging that the gang rape claim was bogus.
But October 15 is plenty of time before Election Day 2006 for the voters of Durham County to appreciate that (1) there was no rape, much less a gang rape, during that infamous Duke Men's Lacrosse Team party last March, and (2) Mr. Nifong refused to consider evidence of innocence and proceeded to persecute instead of investigate because he figured (rightly) in was his only chance of winning the then upcoming Democrat primary last May.
Sports Illustrated confirmed how right he was: Mr. Nifong "polled 2 to 1 among African-American voters, an advantage that more than accounted for his victory margin of 883 votes."
On October 15, Durham County voters will have the opportunity to watch the "60 Minutes" coverage of the Duke case, including Ed Bradley interviewing the Duke Three and make a judgment whether Mr. Nifong is fit to be Durham County District Attorney.
Mr. Nifong shamelessly played the race card to win that primary last May. But black voters in Durham County were deceived. At the time, the conventional wisdom was that Mr. Nifong had a case.
Mr. Nifong is up for election this November. Truth has caught up to the lies. The conventional wisdom now is that Mr. Nifong is a disgrace.
Those who voted for Mr. Nifong in the primary can take solace in the saying "fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me" and reject Mr. Nifong at the polls this time.
Lewis Cheek, a Democrat County Commissioner, is the viable Anybody But Nifong candidate on the ballot
Steve Monks, a Republican, is a spoiler who failed to get on the ballot and now is a write-in candidate.
By agreeing to be interviewed by Mr. Bradley, the Duke Three have provided a key ingredient in putting an end to Mr. Nifong's reign as District attorney:
assurance to the people of Durham county that they are innocent victims of an out-of-control prosecutor abusing his power, NOT the racist monsters that Mr. Nifong portrayed them to be.
THAT was a good enough reason for Collin to come out of the attic!
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.