The considerable power and wealth pitted against Mr. Nifong prevailed, but because the indicted players were innocent on all the phony felony charges, because a fraud was exposed, not because the defense corrupted state authorities, perpetrated a fraud or hypnotized enough people into believing guilty young men were innocent. All the defense did was show the truth and then the truth prevailed, as it should.
My email on the Duke case ranges from the ridiculous to the sublime, the profane to the profound.
Herewith the take of a fellow who thinks Republicans and Democrats are the same and, for the flooding of New Orleans, deliberate destruction of levees was to blame:
"Your commentary is gushing with hot air and quite frankly, democrats and republicans are merely two sides of same corrupt coin. Whether it's FOX, CNN or the NY Times, the 'mainstream' media are all owned (or bought) by corporate conglomerates and are not about the business of keeping public officials on either side accountable, let alone educating the ignorant masses of the American people.
"With respect to your notion of conspiracy 'theories' this site alone (http://www.cointel.org/) is enough evidence to nullify silly denials. It's quite telling that on the levee issue, you ignored the fact that they were dynamited in the past to redirect flood waters, thus setting a precedent and justifying calls for an investigation.
"For a little history lesson, see the following article link followed by a previous Denver Post commentary:
"This month, one of the most insidious conspiracy theories in history erupted into a national debate informed by such past indignities. Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan asserted a levee was intentionally destroyed after Hurricane Katrina to flood the poor, nearly all-black Ninth Ward of New Orleans. "Ludicrous? Filmmaker Spike Lee doesn't think so. 'You don't think (the 2000 presidential election) was rigged?' he said. 'If they can rig an election, they can do anything.'
"Many blacks don't think so, either, because the federal government has intentionally destroyed levees in the past. The Oct. 3 New Yorker reports that in 1927, the feds allowed New Orleans to dynamite its downriver Caernarvon levee, ruining two black parishes, just to keep the neighborhood occupied by the white city leaders dry. Today, many New Orleanians are convinced that while Katrina was an act of God, what followed was a premeditated disaster. The way the city was flooded is seen as a conspiracy driven by racist and economic interests to wipe its most impoverished areas off the map.
"Absurd? What they know but you may not is that during the 1912 flood, an engineer who ran out of sandbags ordered several hundred blacks to lie atop one another at the top of a levee as kind of a human dam. The New York Times proclaimed it a brilliant strategy for combating natural disasters.
"And during Hurricane Betsy in 1965, Democratic Mayor Victor Hugo Schiro ordered floodwater pumped out of his subdivision and into the very same Ninth Ward. Rumors were so rampant, it came to be commonly believed that Schiro intentionally ruptured that same levee that had been blown up in 1927 and broke up last month just so that blacks would be drowned to keep them from voting in an upcoming election.
Another emailer sees former Durham County, North Carolina District Attorney Michael B. Nifong as the typical Democrat politician on the path to perdition:
"Next time the dems are looking for a new poster boy to represent the ideals of the democrats, the obvious choice is democrat Mike Nifong who embodies democrat politics. Nifongís plan for getting black votes by using the Duke players as race bait exemplifies the standard demonrat election strategy to get black votes for white democrats. Nifong is a typical Democrat who used race to keep poor blacks and whites in their place on the Democrat Plantation. I escaped the Democrat Plantation. I wish everyone could, but you must WANT TO ESCAPE to get free.
"The Duke lacrosse scandal began with demonrat race baiter Al Sharpton using a platform provided by the media to condemn the white lacrosse players. The combination of Al Sharpton, the media, and a demonrat politician exuded the smell of race bait; think Tawana Brawley. Nifong and Sharpton are the essence of the Democrat party. Hillary is a nifong, Al Sharpton is a nifong, Ted Kennedy is a nifong; spread it around. The democrat party has been renamed the Nifong Party or Race Bait Party. The word democrat has been replaced with nifong. And of course the media is controlled by the nifongs. The nifongs are doing all they can to silence the Duke scandal because it exposes the nifong party for what it is. But lets keep the light shining on this demonrat darkness. If the publicans let the dems get away with this then the pubs deserve to continue suffering the race baiting tactics of the dems.
"The media such as CBS, CNN, ABC, NBC, AP are all trying to tell us we are tired of hearing about Nifong, that Nifong has suffered enough; any lame excuse they can imagine to hush up or distort the Nifong story. The democrat controlled media wants to silence the Nifong news because it exposes what the Nifong party is. Nifong embodies democrat tactics, but if it wasnít for evil Al Sharpton with the democrat media circus, Nifong may never have gotten up courage enough to attempt the Duke scam. With the media, Sharpton, and the dems backing him, Nifong was emboldened. Now that Nifong got caught, the media wants it hushed up. The dems/nifongs want to talk about something else, anything to take public attention away from Nifong. Paris Hilton, Anna Nicole's baby and other non-news is used to focus attention away from the real news of how the demonrat party is the race bait party/Nifong party; regardless of how trivial the non-news gets.
"It speaks volumes how the media is so eerily silent on the Juneteenth news; blacks dragging non blacks out of their cars and killing and/or beating them to celebrate Juneteenth in Minnesota, Texas, New York and who knows where else. The media wants to hush it up because it doesn't promote the demonrat hate and race bait politics that preach white discrimination against blacks. Imagine the uproar in the media, on the news, the 24/7 coverage, if gangs of whites pulled black people out of their cars and beat them to death. Imagine even more media coverage than that if the Duke scam had been black men and a white girl falsely accusing the black men. The nifong media covers up and hushes up even the most startling news if it doesnít fit the nifongs political spin.
"This Lawyer Nifong who persecuted the Duke lacrosse players makes us wonder how many people who didnít have high priced lawyers defending them ended up in prison though innocent of the charges. The reason Nifong charged the white men was to gain black votes in the election that was coming. The population was largely black, it looked like it would be a close election, so Nifong used the white Duke players as race bait to lure black voters into voting for him and got re-elected at the expense of the innocent white men. Interesting how desperately the media tries to avoid reporting that. Come on now news media; lets see at least half the 24/7 coverage we would get if it was black men being falsely accused instead of white men.
"Instead of following the proven method of victimizing poor white men who couldnít afford big money lawyers, Nifong made the mistake of attacking wealthy white men who had access to the best legal services. In this instance the big money lawyers eventually got the charges dropped. Nifong may or may not get away with his race bait tactics. For every crook who goes to prison there are around fifty to 100 who donít by one rule of thumb. It makes us wonder how many people are in prison or were fired or their lives were ruined by democrat race baiters just so these crooked officials could ply their evil like democrat Nifong did."
Fact: Mr. Nifong is a Democrat.
Fact: Mr. Nifong persecuted the 2005-2006 Duke Men's Lacrosse Team in order to win a Democrat primary in an overwhelmingly Democrat county.
Fact: It worked for Mr. Nifong, as fellow Democrats Governor Michael Easley and Attorney General Roy Cooper remained silent about Mr. Nifong's outrageous public statements and broken promise to Governor Easley until safely after the December 15, 2006 public hearing that showed Mr. Nifong as a contemptible concealer of exculpatory evidence.
Good News: Mr. Nifong was exposed and is being punished.
Bad News: Instead of appreciating Mr. Nifong's egregious prosecutorial abuse as symptomatic of a societal problem involving race and race-based politics and problems with the North Carolina criminal justice system (which does not even provide for transcripts of its grand jury proceedings or allow persons who may be indicted to address the grand jurors if they want to do so), Mr. Nifong's malignant misconduct is being depicted as a unique aberration.
To those who point out, rightly, that plenty of blacks have been wrongly convicted: You are right about that. But there's a huge difference between framing and wrongly convicting. The considerable power and wealth pitted against Mr. Nifong prevailed, but because the indicted players were innocent on all the phony felony charges, because a fraud was exposed, not because the defense corrupted state authorities, perpetrated a fraud or hypnotized enough people into believing guilty young men were innocent. All the defense did was show the truth and then the truth prevailed, as it should.
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.