In response to your blog response of September 9, 2008, the author of this blog site is Sidney B. Harr, and not Mike Nifong or Cy Gurney. I am the Lay Advocate for the Committee on Justice for Mike Nifong, and a staunch supporter of Mr. Nifong (although the "News & Observer" columnist Barry Saunders, in his July 22, 2008 column called me a "rabid Nifong supporter"). I firmly believe that Mr. Nifong was unjustly disbarred by the State Bar, and that it should take responsibility for its actions by doing the right thing (legally and morally) and reinstating his license to practice law in the state of North Carolina.
It takes a small amount of courage to stand up for a cause which is extremely unpopular, and to identify yourself, instead of hiding behind an alias. It takes very little courage to think for oneself and not just automatically buy into what the media is peddling. That said, by no means do I insuate that you lack courage because you conceal your identity when you make statements on the blog or because you choose the safe confinds of popular opinion. I appreciate your participation to this blog, and hearing points of view that differ with mine.
Several statements that you made were patently false. First, Mr. Nifong did not arbitrarily indict three men. They were identified by the alleged victim/accuser with 80-100% certainty. Now although the identification system may not have been perfect in the Duke Lacrosse case, the ID system used by Durham Prosecutor Freda Black was no more perfect when Erick Daniels was picked out of a middle school yearbook by the victim of an armed robbery. Erick Daniels, did not even fit the description of the perpetrator of the crime, yet he was convicted as a 16 year old, and has spent more than four years incarcerated. Do you believe that the three Duke LAXers, who spent no time in jail, have suffered greater injustice than Erick Daniels, whose case is under review by the courts, thanks in large measure to investigative articles that appeared in the "Independent Weekly." The point I am making is that the State and the State Bar of North Carolina will not go after Prosecutor Black because the injustice is against a defendant who is poor, of color, and disenfranchised. It selectively chose to persecute and prosecute Mr. Nifong because his defendants were from families of wealth, status, and privilege.
At least there is one thing we can agree on, and that is that there is a failure by the State Bar to prosecute prosecutors who commit acts of prosecutorial misconduct. If the State Bar held all of the prosecutors in the state to the same standards used to disbar Mr. Nifong, then the number of the state prosecutors would be depleted. Rather than disbarring 99% of all state prosecutors, it seems to me that a more practical course would be to re-instate the only prosecutor to be disbarred by the North Carolina State Bar since its inception.