Wednesday, December 20, 2006


I mailed this letter today, December 20, 2006.

208 Fayetteville Street
PO Box 25908
Raleigh, NC 27611-5908

Disciplinary Hearing Commission: F. Lane Williamson, Chair, Carlyn G. Poole, Vice-Chair, Sharon B. Alexander, W. Steven Allen Sr., Stephen E. Culbreth, Charles M. Davis, Karen Eady-Williams, Michael A. Grace, Tommy W. Jarrett, T. Richard Kane, John M. May, M. Ann Reed

REFERENCE: Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong

Dear Commissioners:

I have watched with mounting horror as rogue prosecutor, Mike Nifong, has trampled the civil rights of three male college students in his relentless drive for political gain.

He is prosecuting three young men for a rape which probably didn’t even occur. But then how would Prosecutor Nifong know? He has NEVER interviewed the indicted lacrosse players OR the accuser. He has ignored DNA evidence, the supposed victim’s multiple versions of events and even conspired with the testing laboratory to withhold exculpatory evidence from the defense ([1].pdf). His conduct of the photo lineup was execrable procedure at best and downright prejudicial and dishonest. Further, although exculpatory evidence of an uncompromising sort has been presented on behalf of at least one of the indicted students, Mr. Nifong has chosen to ignore that AND attempt to intimidate one of the defense witnesses, the taxicab driver, by attempting to have him arrested on thin to transparently untrue charges. He played the alleged rape charges to the hilt prior to the primary election and claimed that if the DNA evidence did not support the accuser’s charges, he would drop them. It didn’t and he didn’t. To say that this man is a reprehensible, racist, cynical huckster is to be restrained in my description of Nifong. I have to say that all I could think about during this pre-primary period was the Sam Sheppard case here in Ohio – the conviction that F. Lee Bailey got overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court due to prejudicial pre-trial publicity.

Mr. Nifong is flagrantly violating North Carolina law and common decency and holding the State Bar of North Carolina up to public ridicule on a daily basis because you have apparently chosen to do nothing about his prosecutorial misconduct for many months. I can assure you, based on personal knowledge, this would not happen in the State of Ohio. The Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court answers his own phone so he is accessible to all citizens and all attorneys know this. I myself was the legal assistant to one of the now-retired justices, Hon. J. Craig Wright, an irascible but brilliant attorney and judge. So I am not indulging in ignorant blathering here. What Nifong is doing is wrong in so many ways that I was stumped as to how to begin this letter!

Something must be done about this case forthwith. Since nobody else seems to be willing to act in a definitive manner, I’m very much afraid that it’s on your shoulders.

Three young men have already had their lives effectively ruined to a greater or lesser extent by this prosecutor run amok. Their parents have been forced into expending great sums of money to defend and protect their sons from what are demonstrably bogus charges. Since it becomes increasingly certain that this case is wholly frivolous, the State of North Carolina and the City of Durham are already facing substantial financial consequences. Bringing this farce to a halt sooner rather than later might reduce the liability a bit.

Respectfully yours,


Anonymous said...

Thank you!!! Thank you!!!

A Duke Lacrosse Mom and SO very Proud of it!!!

Gayle Miller said...

You are absolutely welcome! It was easy to do the right thing as far as writing to the State Bar. They are protecting Nifong and it must stop.

I am myself a legal professional and I have to say, this kind of behavior wouldn't have lasted two seconds in any decent sized city in Ohio (I can't speak for some of the rural areas!)


hooooraaaaaay !

i really enjoyed this letter...

dishing out reality and justice.

wonderful Gayle...

lunkhead said...

Good for you. Thanks for standing up to a rogue district attorney. Bad judgment by some lacrosse players shouldn't equal a lifetime of trouble.

Pam said...

Very well done. All your points are valid and excellently made. I would hate for this letter to have no conceivable effect, but as you are not a NC voter, it probably won't. Still, you never know!

Quasimodo said...

I can assure you, based on personal knowledge, this would not happen in the State of Ohio.

Let's face it, outside of Louisiana, I don't know of ANY other state where this could happen.

North Carolinians must be so proud. . .(sarc/off)

(And btw, GREAT LETTER!)

Tom Blogical said...

Great letter, Gayle. I hope it does some good.

Anonymous said...

Nifong needs to be run out of town---after receiving a good ol'fashioned tar and feathering.

His handling of this case (from the very beginning with the numerous press conferences to the withholding/mishandling of evidence) has been calculated to bring fame to himself and insure his reelection; possibly even set himself up for a run at higher office in the future. Unfortunately for him and his victims, it has apparently devolved into a ham handed attempt at covering his backside.

That this comedy is allowed to continue brings the entire judicial and political systems in North Carolina into question.

One wonders what other questionable practices have been foisted upon the citizenry there by this alleged 'servant of the people' that haven't received the scrutiny of this case.

That the Duke LaCrosse players have had their lives irrevocably damaged is beyond question; what will it take before the people in Raleigh-Durham decide that enough is enough?

Gayle Miller said...

I take no credit but the NC Bar has now filed a 17-page ethics complaint against Nifong! Step in the right direction!