Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Selective Justice Awards Banquet

“The Selective Justice Awards Banquet” is the title of Episode IV of the upcoming “The MisAdventures of Super-Duper Cooper” comic strip. The “Super-Duper” comic strip is often far out in its story line, but it is based on the truth about the state’s unjust and selective justice system. Episode IV light-heartedly pokes fun at the North Carolina State Bar, the biased media, North Carolina attorneys and judges, and a couple of politicians.
Part 1 of the 4 part episode will appear on Sunday, October 4, 2009, on the official Committee on Justice for Mike Nifong website,
www.justice4nifong.com. Parts 2 through 4 will be posted on subsequent Sundays.

This episode pays special tribute to the North Carolina State Bar, the state’s system of “selective justice based on Class and Color.” Collusion in the “selective justice process” by the media, both local and nationally, is also acknowledged for disseminating and perpetuating blatant lies, misinterpreting motives and intentions, wrongfully defining terms (“exculpatory” comes to mind offhand), and giving credence to dubious actions and statements. The biased media falls terribly short when it comes to challenging the inappropriateness of certain actions (the overstepping proclamation of “innocent” by Attorney General Roy Cooper, for example), and not questioning the weak and bogus documents by the State Bar used in the disbarment of Mike Nifong. Even the most cursory perusal of the State’s documents would prove to an objective individual, of at least average intelligence, that the case against Mr. Nifong is totally without merit.

What is most despicable outcome of the media’s coverage of the Duke Lacrosse case and Mike Nifong, is the vilification of Mr. Nifong, a dedicated public servant who was prosecuting the Duke Lacrosse case well within acceptable standards of the law. Because he refused to dismiss the case as desired by the “powers that be,” Mike Nifong was persecuted excessively by the state. An appropriate analogy can be made with what transpired during the twelfth century when the Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket refused to be a rubber-stamp to England’s King Henry II… only Becket was persecuted to the “ultimate” extent.

The role of the media in defining Mike Nifong as one deserving the public’s contempt and as a person to be ostracized, is deplorable. The media should be ashamed of itself for its actions, especially the CBS TV news magazine “60 Minutes,” which helped lead the way in misguiding a populous that did not have access to the facts and did not make the effort to challenge the singular and illogical actions of the state against Mr. Nifong.

Finally, just as the biased media has kept under wraps the fact that Mr. Nifong is the only prosecutor to be disbarred by the State Bar since its inception in 1933 (76 years ago), it has made every attempt to shield from its subscribers and viewers the fact that a grass roots organization (Committee on Justice for Mike Nifong) is strongly supportive of Mr. Nifong and is dedicated to seeing that the State Bar unilaterally and unconditionally reinstates his license to practice law in North Carolina without restrictions.

The News & Observer in the September 29, 2009 issue, for example has room to give coverage to the following two articles… 1) a chocolate lab dog shot in 2006 dies of pacreatitis at the age of 13 years, and 2) in Ankara, Turkey, a van carrying hives crashes and angry bees sting accident victims and rescuers. Articles of some interest to some people, true. But I believe the readers of the newspaper would be better served with an article about a growing movement, and the organization behind it, that is seeking justice for a prosecutor who has been unjustly and selectively persecuted, abused, and maligned by the state of North Carolina, the State Bar, and the media, itself. Episode IV of “The MisAdventures of Super-Duper Cooper : The Selective Justice Awards Banquet” will shed light on it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Harassment from the “Franchise Tax Board” continues

On Wednesday, September 23, 2009 at 1:14 pm EDT, I received a phone call from someone who claimed to be calling from the Franchise Tax Board of California. He stated that his name was “Steven” and he asked me for the four last digits of my social security number to confirm my identity. Instead of answering, I asked him what his last name was and he refused, saying, “I don’t give out last names.” I told him that I would communicate with them only in writing, and I then hung up the phone.

Approximately fifteen minutes later I received another call from a gentleman who identified himself as “Mr. Lopez,” stating that he was also from the California Franchise Tax Board. After pressuring him, he finally stated that his first name was “Emilio.” I told him that if he wanted to communicate with me that he would have to do it in writing, and then I hung up the phone. He persisted in calling me, and threatening me with financial sanctions, and I persisted in hanging up, until after speaking with him three or four times and requesting that he communicate in writing, I refused to answer the phone.

As I have stated on prior occasions, I wanted the communications in writing so that there would be no question about what was stated by either side. Furthermore, I have no proof that the person on the end of the line is who he says he is, or if that person is in the employ of the Franchise Tax Board of California.

The Franchise Tax Board came into my life in April 2009 as a consequence of my efforts on behalf of obtaining justice for Mike Nifong, with the sudden claim that I owed $455,000.00 plus in back taxes to the state of California from the years 1990, 1993, and 1996. I responded promptly in writing to all correspondence that I received, the last letter received on July 3, 2009. I mailed a response on July 5, 2009.

From July 3, 2009, until today, September 23, 2009, I had not heard from them.

There is no doubt that the powers that be in the state of North Carolina and the carpetbagger families of the Duke Lacrosse defendants are behind this bogus witch hunt. They are doing their best to try and silence a voice for justice in order to prevail in their efforts to make Mr. Nifong “pay every day for the rest of his life.”

The states of California and North Carolina are being taken for a ride, albeit in first class, by the carpetbagger families of the Duke Lacrosse defendants. It is high time for the state of California to cease and desist from its unwarranted harassment of a law abiding citizen, time for the state of North Carolina to accept responsibility for its egregious error in disbarring Mike Nifong (the only prosecutor to be disbarred by the North Carolina State Bar since its inception) and unilaterally and unconditionally reinstate his law license, and time for the carpetbagger families of the Duke Lacrosse defendants to cease with their hateful mischief and to dismiss all of their civil suits filed against individuals and entities in North Carolina.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

D. A. Peter Gilchrist believes North Carolinians are stupid

In an article titled “No charges after man kills suspected robber” in the Saturday, September 19, 2009 News & Observer, Mecklenburg County District Attorney Peter Gilchrist stated that a 76 year old man who got in a car and drove in pursuit of four teens who had robbed him, acted in self-defense when he shot and killed a 15 year old suspect. Using twisted logic, that is not uncommon within the North Carolina justice system, D.A. Gilchrist explained that 76 year old C. L. McClure was merely trying to “delay the escape” of the teens who had allegedly participated in a home invasion at his Charlotte residence, when he grabbed his gun, jumped in his van, and took off in hot pursuit of the thieves. Mr. Gilchrist also maintains that Mr. McClure shot in self-defense because he believed his life was in danger. It is not illogical to believe that pursuing an armed robber would place the pursuer in danger, but does that give the pursuer a license to kill?

The last time I checked, it was not a capital offense to ransack a house and steal some jewelry and a wallet, but by enacting vigilante justice, Mr. McClure acted as judge and jury in finding the boy guilty, and executing his sentence of death for the 15 year old. Now, I do not condone crime, but this is an instance where the criminal penalty imposed by McClure is far too excessive, and D.A. Gilchrist, by his decision not to file charges, encourages future episodes of vigilante justice. One thing that is undoubtedly apparent is that the young man who was “executed” by Mr. McClure did not come from a family of wealth, prestige, and privilege… like the boys of the carpetbagger families in the Duke Lacrosse case. If the fatally shot teen had been from a well-heeled family, you can bet that District Attorney Gilchrist would’ve charged Mr. McClure with first degree murder. Such is the North Carolina system of “selective justice based on Class and Color.”

This is not the first time when there has been no action taken against a citizen who willfully took the life of another who was in the act of the commission of a crime. Years ago, Johnston County District Attorney Susan Doyle refused to file any charges against a man who used his pickup truck to pin a thief against a fence post. The thief, Cornelius Brown, died from injuries he received in this vehicular attack, but seeing as how he was a poor African American man, his life was not worth much in the North Carolina system of justice.

The North Carolina General Assembly may as well pass a law and make it official, that any poor person, especially of color, caught in the act of committing a crime can be legally killed by the victim or any other law-abiding citizen. That would at least relieve the district attorneys from having to come up with convoluted nonsensical explanations for not bringing charges against the executors when vigilante justice takes the life of one of the “dregs” of society.

It is prosecutors like District Attorney Peter Gilchrist and Johnston County Prosecutor Susan Doyle (of the Cornelius Brown case) who do not follow the intent of the law when determining who to prosecute and who not to charge. Had either of them been Durham District Attorney in 2006, there is no doubt that neither of them would have brought charges against the Duke Lacrosse student-athlete party-goers, regardless of the evidence. A dedication to the principles of fair play and equal justice for all, and not allowing Class and Color to enter into the equation when determining whether to prosecute a case, is absent in the aforementioned cases.

It is the rare district attorney who has the courage to bring charges that are just, but unpopular with those with wealth and who weld power and influence. The North Carolina State Bar, with the assistance of North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, made sure to disuade district attorneys from following principles of equal justice. This was achieved when it enacted the unjust and selective disbarment and treatment of Mike Nifong because of his actions in the Duke Lacrosse case.

Unless North Carolinians begin to think for themselves regarding criminal justice issues, and not depend on the biased media to think for them, then people in the state’s justice system will continue to treat residents of the state as idiots. The people must demand that those in power in the North Carolina justice system abide by the laws that are in place to protect society, and not try to skirt them in order to get a specific outcome.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Bill LuMaye Show

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.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

North Carolina State Bar taking taxpayers for a ride

I enjoyed John Drescher’s column in today’s (Saturday, September 12, 2009) News & Observer titled “Open is best for NCSU.” It talks about how UNC System President Erskine Bowles should open the selection process of the next NCSU chancellor position to the public. He should then follow-up with a column titled, “Open is best for the State Bar.” As it is well known, the North Carolina State Bar is a state agency that is shrouded in mystery and secrecy, and what makes this worse is that it is an unregulated agency. They are not regulated, there is no oversight, and they are accountable to no one. Compounding this problem is the fact that they ride roughshod over the state’s attorneys, all of whom are terrorized and fear this organization… and for good reason because their actions are arbitrary, can be retaliatory and are not applied equally. The disbarment of Mike Nifong, the only prosecutor to be disbarred by the State Bar since its inception in 1933, is a prime example. For an attorney, ending up on the bad side of the Bar can lead to disbarment, whether it is warranted or not. Therefore, attorneys throughout the state are afraid to publicly make statements favorable to Mike Nifong or statements in favor of the reinstatement of Mr. Nifong’s law license.

The reason the newspaper should have its investigative reporters delve into the goings on with the State Bar is because the Bar recently was given the ability to borrow money and act as a business by House Bill 360 which Governor Perdue signed into law. I believe this will lead to abuse, profiteering, and enrichment of the Bar elite at taxpayer expense. Very alarming is the article which also appeared in today’s (Saturday, September 12, 2009) newspaper titled “State Bar gets site for HQ. How can the state allow the State Bar to build its own building? Shouldn’t that be the province of the state to provide space for the bar? If the Department of Transportation wants or needs more space, can it build itself a building, too? Shouldn’t the people or taxpayers have a say in what is built, and aren’t there regulations in place for construction of state buildings? Doesn’t a bidding process need to be followed for the design and construction of the building?

It seems as though the Bar has already hired a Winston-Salem architectural firm of Calloway Johnson Moore & West to design the building. Is this legal or proper? Was the design open to other architectural firms to submit designs and compete for the position? Most likely, the architectural firm slipped the State Bar elite money or some incentive, or the firm partner is a crony of some State Bar elite.

The article states that the State Bar “hopes to realize ‘several million dollars’ from the sale of its current building…” My question is, does the State Bar own the current building, or is it owned by the State of North Carolina? If the answer is the latter, then we taxpayers should not be subsidizing a building in which we have no input nor benefit. Also, at the end of the sentence explaining how the building will be paid, it states that “borrowed money” will be used. Again, the question is who is going to borrow the money and be held liable for payment of the interest and repayment of the principle? The State Bar (from its membership dues), or the taxpayers?

Also, if a state run parking lot is the future site for this building, and I assume that the parking lot is bringing in a profit, why shouldn’t the State Bar lease the property for at least the amount of annual income earned by the parking lot? Leasing the property to the State Bar for one dollar ($1.00) per year for 99 years is ridiculous and it is a terrible deal for the taxpayers. Who approved the lease deal anyway?

Another issue an investigative reporter should look into is the conflict of interest which is apparent when legislator/attorneys vote on bills brought before the General Assembly that are beneficial to the State Bar. I believe that ethics rules in the State Bar even require legislator/attorneys to recuse themselves in such bill. However, there was only one “no” vote in the General Assembly against H.B. 360, and almost all of the members of the Assembly (the majority who are attorneys) voted for the bill.

Most definitely, the North Carolina State Bar should open up and come clean with the people of North Carolina and stop sneaking around when conducting business. Furthermore, the General Assembly and Governor should stop treating the State Bar like a privileged agency. The State Bar should not be determining how to resolve its alleged shortage of space… that is a job for the state, through the General Assembly to address and assure that rules and regulations already in place are followed.

While at it, investigators and auditors should also look into the number of personnel working for the Bar. I am sure that the agency could function more efficiently if some of the positions, mainly high level executive, were cut.