Thursday, 16 December 2010

What Price a Job?

A comment left on the previous article prompted me to put this video post together.

The basics in this case are; District Attorney/Prosecutor Mike Nifong, pursued a case of rape against three students from Duke University NC knowing them to be innocent. In a case that would send the defendants up the river for thirty years, effectively a death sentence; rich white boy rapes black sister, Nifong, in his attempt to shorten the odds, withheld crucial DNA evidence from the Grand Jury.

And his motive for all this? Not to keep his job, but to better his chances of being re-elected.

I report on the case here, and the Judicial system in general, make my feelings known on Nifong's jail time here, or, a little less emotionally, you can read the overview of the case here. Which by the way includes this:

In one of the many similar judgments made about how the news media covered the case, columnist David Broder described “a painful exercise in journalistic excess.

Now I'm a great believer in First Amendment rights, but not when it comes to sub judice, not that the US seems to have any, and if it did, the First Amendment would override it. But between the cops, the DA's office and the press, half the poor buggers have already been tried and found guilty before ever setting foot in a courtroom, and when they do appear, it's just for the court to set the sentence.

I don't know which one of the clips it is, but someone makes reference to the weight people, particularly jurors, attach to the simple fact that a prosecutor has seen fit to bring the case. Which might go a long way in explaining why US prisons are half full of innocent people.

Strap yourself in for this figure. Since 1973, one hundred and thirty eight people,138 people have been exonerated from death row alone. And that by anybody's standards is a frightening number of people. I don't really need to pose the follow up question do I? Perhaps better that we spare a thought for poor buggers that no longer walk this earth.

You may think I go on a bit, but I do rail against injustice, that's why I'm here in the first place, it sets me on fire, and it does so no matter the case.

Overview 8 minutes.

Radio comment on Nifong's motives. 2m 3os

This is the clip where Geraldo Rivera talks about the weight given to a prosecutors decision to bring charges. Worth watching for its rarity value, common sense and the truth on Fox News. 3mns

Essential talking points. 4m 30s

Nifong goes to jail. For a day!

Optional viewing. Nine minutes of Mike Nifong speaking in court. Sick bag essential, and if you can get past the four minute mark, you're a better man than I.