On Monday, September 14, 2009, I was a guest during the 4:00 pm hour on the “Bill LuMaye Show.” Of the 23 minutes of actual air time that was not filled with news, sports, weather, and advertisements, there was a limited amount of time to discuss certain issues in depth. Unfortunately for me, my opening statement was cut short by Rick Martinez, who was co-hosting with his wife Donna (sitting in for Bill LuMaye who was out of town). As it was my first experience sitting in as a guest on a talk radio show, I have not give myself glowing marks, as I failed to adequately address certain statements and did not refute some false and misleading statements made by callers and the hosts. My disappointment in my performance might be rooted in unrealistic expectations about the message I had hoped to deliver. Not being in control, or not taking control of the conversation was a disadvantage that was insurmountable. However, let me make it clear that I do not disparage the hosts of the show, Rick and Donna Martinez, who I felt acted fairly and respectfully.
Following is the complete text of the opening statement which I had prepared to give on the show:
“The darkest period for justice in North Carolina and the United States occurred in years 2006 and 2007 with the unjust and selective disbarment and persecution of former Durham District Attorney Michael Byron Nifong for his handling of the Duke Lacrosse case.
“An extensive and wide ranging conspiratorial campaign against Mike Nifong was driven by North Carolina agencies (such as the State Bar, the Attorney General’s Office, and State Board of Elections), individuals, including Attorney General Roy Cooper, Governor Michael Easley (who is currently under investigation by the Federal government for ethics violations), Duke University, judges on both the state and federal levels, attorneys for defendants Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty, and David Evans; all of whom worked, in various degrees, with the vindictive, avaricious, and malevolent carpetbagger families of the Duke Lacrosse defendants.
“Their agenda was a well planned, and executed, strategy to remove Mr. Nifong from the Duke Lacrosse case by creating a conflict of interest which would force an attorney with integrity, like Mr. Nifong, to recuse himself. This situation was established when the State Bar filed an ethics complaint against Mr. Nifong in December 2006. Their next objective was the disbarment of Mike Nifong, which made him the only prosecutor to be disbarred by the North Carolina State Bar since its inception in 1933.
“Other singular actions taken against Mike Nifong included handing him a jail sentence on the pretext that he made false statements to the court, and an unsuccessful attempt to initiate a federal criminal investigation against him.
“There is no doubt that the driving force behind these reprehensible and illegal actions against Mr. Nifong is the carpetbagger families of the Duke Lacrosse defendants. Rhea Evans, the mother of defendant David Evans, who was representative of the families on the CBS – TV show “60 Minutes” was asked by host Lesley Stahl if she had anything to say to Mr. Nifong were he to walk into the room. In response to what appeared to be a staged question, she replied, “I guess I would say, with a smile on my face, Mr. Nifong, you’ve picked on the wrong families, you’ve picked on the wrong families to indict, you’ve picked on the wrong family of the Duke Lacrosse team, you’ve picked on the wrong family of Duke University, and you’re going to pay, every day, for the rest of your life.” The greed of theses families, whose sons received seven million dollars ($7,000,000.00) each from Duke University in an out-of-court settlement and are seeking an additional ten million dollars ($10,000,000.00) each from the cash strapped city of Durham, is surpassed only by their malice.
“The biased media, locally and nationally, was complicit, if not in cahoots, with the efforts to destroy Mike Nifong by disseminating and perpetuating false and inaccurate statements, presenting baseless speculation and contrived conjecture as factual, and failing to challenge the veracity of claims and validity of actions related to Mr. Nifong. A flagrant shortcoming of the media is that it has never once mentioned that Mr. Nifong is the only prosecutor to be disbarred by the North Carolina State Bar since its inception 76 years ago. The media has also given credence to the April 2007 proclamation by Attorney General Roy Cooper that the Duke Lacrosse defendants were innocent, when in actuality he inappropriately overstepped his bounds with that declaration. The media failed to distinguish between “exculpatory” and “non-inculpatory,” parroted the misleading and false accusations that Mr. Nifong “withheld” evidence, that he made untruthful statements to the court, and that his alleged bad acts were deliberate and with sinister motives.
“Mike Nifong is a conscientious individual of uncommon integrity, and he was dedicated to his profession as a prosecutor serving the state of North Carolina. During a 27 year career he built a solid reputation, guided by the principle of “equal justice for all,” and taking his prosecutorial role as a “Minister of Justice” seriously. Since he first began practicing as a prosecutor, Mr. Nifong has always maintained an open-file discovery policy, sharing evidence with the defense team. In fact, he had been doing this for 25 years before it was mandated by law. The allegations lodged against him to destroy his career were made because he was too independent, and would not abide by the state’s tenet of “selective justice based on Class and Color.” The aftermath, which is now before us is a fight of “right” versus “might”… “right” being on Mr. Nifong’s side.
“In June 2008, the Committee on Justice for Mike Nifong was formed. It is a grass roots organization comprised of people of courage and good conscience who believe that Mike Nifong was unjustly and selectively disbarred because of his actions in the Duke Lacrosse case. Its members, President Victoria Peterson, Vice President Myra Kinderknecht, Community Organizer Douglas Register, and Community Activists Steven Matherly and Jacqueline Wagstaff, lend their names, faces, and efforts in the just cause of trying to persuade the North Carolina State Bar to accept responsibility for its actions against Mr. Nifong and do the right thing… which is to unilaterally and unconditionally reinstate Mike Nifong’s license to practice law in the state of North Carolina, without restrictions.”
The roughly 23 talk minutes of the hour-long show can be heard by accessing the podcast on the radio station’s website, www.wptf.com. In the near future, it will be posted on the multi-media page of our website, www.justice4nifong.com.