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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
WEBCommentary Contributor
Author:  Michael J. Gaynor
Bio: Michael J. Gaynor
Date:  December 12, 2006
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Topic category:  Other/General

Duke Case: Please Support Congressman Jones's Investigation Request to the USDJ

On December 6, in an article titled "Duke Case: USJJ should not be MIA," I urged the United States Department of Justice to intervene in the Duke case, lamented that it "is missing in action in the Duke case" and insisted that "[l]ack of awareness of the case obviously is not the explanation" and the excuses that it does not want to involve itself in a local election or set a bad precedent "won't fly anymore," because "NOT intervening when intervention is required sets a worse precedent."

Happily, the next day, Congressman Walter Jones, Republican of North Carolina stepped forward, by writing to United States Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and requested an inquiry into Durham County, North Carolina District Attorney Michael B. Nifong’s prosecution of Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David Evans (aka the Duke Three) on bogus rape, kidnapping and sexual assault charges in order to determine whether Mr. Nifong engaged in prosecutorial misconduct and denied the three white student athletes their civil rights as United States citizens under federal law.

I doubt that Congressman Jones was aware of my article.  It does not matter whether he was.  What does matter is that the American people in general and the people of North Carolina in particular endorse his courageous call for an investigation.

Congressman Jones's letter stated:

“Over the past several months, many of my constituents and a growing number of mainstream media outlets have raised serious questions about the accuser’s allegations and Mr. Nifong’s prosecution.”

That's obvious.

Congressman Jones highlighted two particularly troubling matters in his letter:

“First, Mr. Nifong directed the Durham Police Department to knowingly violate suspect identification procedures for police personnel in North Carolina. These procedures require that during any suspect identification process, a suspect’s photo must be shown with those of non-suspects. Mr. Nifong not only directed that this not be done, he also directed the police to tell the accuser that she would only view photos of Duke lacrosse athletes who were at the party. By doing so, Mr. Nifong ensured that the accuser could not make a mistake no matter who she identified because she would inevitably identify Duke athletes.”

“Second, throughout the investigation Mr. Nifong repeatedly made prejudicial statements to the media. His statements clearly violate the North Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct which prohibit a prosecutor in a criminal case from making extrajudicial statements that ‘heighten public condemnation of the accused’ or, if disseminated via public communication, have the ‘substantial likelihood’ of prejudicing the proceeding.  Mr. Nifong’s statements ranged from labeling the Duke players 'hooligans' to falsely stating that they refused to cooperate with his investigation. Mr. Nifong also continually proclaimed his personal opinion that a sexual attack had occurred and that he believed the accuser. Furthermore, what is perhaps most concerning is Mr. Nifong’s public admission and representation in court that he’s never had the accuser tell him what she alleges occurred that night; Mr. Nifong has stated it was unnecessary to hear her version.”

Congressman Jones' position: "Mr. Attorney General, many of my constituents have expressed concern to me that the facts outlined in this letter are indicative of prosecutorial misconduct. I urge you to look into these matters to ensure that Mr. Nifong’s actions have not illegally denied the accused of their civil rights as American citizens. After all, if the American people cannot trust those who they’ve empowered to pursue justice fairly, then hope for this democracy is lost.”

EXACTLY!

Please write, phone, or FAX Congressman Jones or his office to thank him and and CALL your own Congressperson's local office (a FREE CALL!) or call him or her in DC (only a few cents!) and ask him or her to join with Congressman Jones to make sure a district attorney is not allowed to disregard the rights of American citizens under the United States Constitution.

Contact form for Congressman Jones (for North Carolinians) :

http://www.webslingerz.com/jhoffman/congress-email.html

Contact information:
Congressman Walter Jones
Washington, DC Office:
422 Cannon House Office Building
Washington DC 20515
Phone: 202 225-3415
Fax: 202 225-3286

Greenville N.C. Office:
Congressman Walter Jones
1105-C Corporate Drive
Greenville, NC 27858-4211
Phone: 252-931-1003 or toll-free (in N.C. only) 800-351-1697
Fax: 252-931-1002

North Carolina

Gov. Mike Easley (D) 800-662-7952

Senate
Sen. Richard Burr ® Fax 202-228-2981
Sen. Elizabeth Dole ® Fax: 202-224-1100

House
Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-1) Fax: 202-225-3354
Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-2) Fax: 202-225-5662
Rep. Walter Jones (R-3) Fax: 202-225-3286
Rep. David Price (D-4) Fax: 202-225-2014
Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-5) Fax: 202-225-2995
Rep. Howard Coble (R-6) Fax: 202-225-8611
Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-7) Fax: 202-225-5773
Rep. Robin Hayes (R-8) Fax: 202-225-4036
Rep. Sue Myrick (R-9) Fax: 202-225-3389
Rep. Patrick McHenry (R10) Fax: 202-225-0316
Rep. Charles Taylor (R-11) Fax: 202-226-6422
Rep. Melvin Watt (D-12) Fax: 202-225-1512
Rep. Brad Miller (D-13) Fax: 202-225-0181

Feel free to cut and paste the following into your email or your congressman's (and senator's) contact form, and remember to put your name after 'sincerely' :

Will you be joining with Congressman Jones' appeal, as reported below? Thank you! Sincerely,

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, December 12, 2006 Contact: Kathleen M. Joyce 202-225-3415

Washington, D.C. – In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Third District Representative Walter B. Jones (R-NC) requested an inquiry into Durham County, North Carolina District Attorney Mike Nifong’s prosecution of three Duke University student athletes accused of an alleged sexual attack on a woman at a party earlier this year. Specifically, Rep. Jones asked the Attorney General to review Mr. Nifong’s conduct to determine if it constitutes prosecutorial misconduct and has denied the students their civil rights as U.S. citizens under federal law.

“Over the past several months, many of my constituents and a growing number of mainstream media outlets have raised serious questions about the accuser’s allegations and Mr. Nifong’s prosecution,” Jones wrote. Jones highlighted two particular issues which have been brought to his attention:

“First, Mr. Nifong directed the Durham Police Department to knowingly violate suspect identification procedures for police personnel in North Carolina,” Jones continued. “These procedures require that during any suspect identification process, a suspect’s photo must be shown with those of non-suspects. Mr. Nifong not only directed that this not be done, he also directed the police to tell the accuser that she would only view photos of Duke lacrosse athletes who were at the party. By doing so, Mr. Nifong ensured that the accuser could not make a mistake no matter who she identified because she would inevitably identify Duke athletes.”

“Second, throughout the investigation Mr. Nifong repeatedly made prejudicial statements to the media. His statements clearly violate the North Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct which prohibit a prosecutor in a criminal case from making extrajudicial statements that ‘heighten public condemnation of the accused’ or, if disseminated via public communication, have the ‘substantial likelihood’ of prejudicing the proceeding,” Jones wrote. “Mr. Nifong’s statements ranged from labeling the Duke players “hooligans” to falsely stating that they refused to cooperate with his investigation. Mr. Nifong also continually proclaimed his personal opinion that a sexual attack had occurred and that he believed the accuser. Furthermore, what is perhaps most concerning is Mr. Nifong’s public admission and representation in court that he’s never had the accuser tell him what she alleges occurred that night; Mr. Nifong has stated it was unnecessary to hear her version.”

“Mr. Attorney General, many of my constituents have expressed concern to me that the facts outlined in this letter are indicative of prosecutorial misconduct. I urge you to look into these matters to ensure that Mr. Nifong’s actions have not illegally denied the accused of their civil rights as American citizens,” Jones concluded. “After all, if the American people cannot trust those who they’ve empowered to pursue justice fairly, then hope for this democracy is lost.”

For additional information or to schedule an interview with Congressman Walter B. Jones please contact Kathleen Joyce at (202) 225-3415. British statesman/philosopher Edmund Burke was write: "The only thing necessary for the triumph [of evil] is for good [people] to do nothing."

Michael J. Gaynor

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Biography - Michael J. Gaynor

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.

Gaynor's email address is gaynormike@aol.com.


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