Sunday, November 28, 2010

Shan Edward Carter – An innocent man who North Carolina is trying to execute: a case exemplifying the state’s tenet of “selective justice based on Cla

NOTE: The blog below is rife with errors, all unintentional and the result of an attempt to get the important blog out before double checking on its accuracy. Because Shan Carter is currently incarcerated at Central Prison, communication is severely restricted to letter writing and weekly visits. In posting the blog below, I allowed my desire to get this most egregious legal system outcome before the public over waiting until it had been vetted by Shan for accuracy. One of the most blatantly false statements I made was that Kwada Temoney, Tyrone Baker, and Shan all started firing their weapons, when in fact Temoney was unarmed at that time, and Shan was the only one who fired. Another mistake had to do with dates… I stated that Shan was convicted of a capital case in the Baker/Green deaths in 1997, when, he was actually convicted in 2001. One final mistake towards the end of the blog was that I stated that the prosecution in the Brunson murder did not seek a death penalty conviction because the FBI lab was unable to link hair fiber evidence to Shan. That was incorrect, as the prosecution sought for a death penalty conviction for Shan Carter in Brunson’s death in a case without physical evidence, eyewitness evidence… Prosecutor John Sherrill sought a death penalty conviction in the Brunson murder based solely on hearsay testimony. For more a more accurate accounting on this story and errors made within this blog, go to the blog posted on December 3, 2010, titled: “Deadly 1997 confrontation between Shan Carter and Tyrone Baker.” - December 3, 2010

In 1997, the judicial system of North Carolina sentenced Shan (pronounced “Shawn”) Edward Carter to not one, but two death sentences. The year previously, in a third murder case, Carter was sentenced to a life sentence instead of death penalty number three, but only because the FBI was unable to match hair evidence from that murder case to him. The life term and capital convictions against Shan Carter would lead any reasonable person to believe that Shan is a monster of Charles Manson-esque proportions… however, that is truly not the case, as is indicated by even the most cursory examination of the facts in cases linked to Carter.

Mr. Carter, an African American male in his mid-thirties who is from a family not considered by most to be perched on the upper or middle rungs of our American societal class rankings, nicely fits into the state’s Class and Color scheme which defines him as being expendable according to North Carolina’s justice system. He is by no means a paragon of virtue and good citizenship, but by no means does he come close to being a cold blooded killer. In the mid-1990’s Shan was in his early twenties, and was a man whose drug habits involved marijuana and alcohol only. Shan dabbled in criminal acts, such as selling heroin, and committing burglary, often in conjunction with individuals of questionable character… common qualities of the company he kept in those days. And Shan did carry a gun on his person… not for use in the commission of crimes, rather for his own protection.

Why, you ask, would Shan Carter need protection? Because some drug dealers in the Wilmington area where he resided wanted to kill him. Why would drug dealers want to kill Mr. Carter? They targeted Carter because they believed that he had burglarized them (the drug dealers). Why would Carter burglarize the residences of drug dealers? Because that’s were the money and drugs were.

In November 1996, Shan, along with Kwada Temoney and Damont White burglarized the rental apartment of Tyrone Baker, a drug dealer from New York. At the time of the crime, Baker was unknown to Shan and Kwada, although Baker knew Damont White and had his confidence. In ransacking Baker’s apartment, the trio hit pay dirt when they came across forty thousand dollars ($40,000.00) stashed in a hiding place. Needless to say, Tyrone Baker was livid when he returned to find his apartment turned upside down, inside out, and his money missing. The first thing Baker did was to kidnap Lamont White, who he believed had a part in the burglary, and he then proceeded to pistol whip him into divulging the identities of White’s accomplices. Later, when Baker found Shan and Kwada Temoney near Tenth and Dawson Streets in Wilmington, Baker sucker punched Temoney sending him to the ground. All three men drew their guns, with Shan trying to aim low in an attempt to wound Baker in the leg. Temoney may have fired his weapon, as well. Shan ran after firing his weapon without knowing the outcome of his defensive response. Regardless, it wasn’t until news broadcasts aired much later that Shan learned that Demetrius Green, an eight year old boy was killed in the exchange of gunfire that took place on that corner. Carter had never seen the boy whose life was taken by a wayward bullet. It most certainly was not Carter’s intention to seek out the boy with the intent to take his life.

Weeks after the shootout involving Temoney and Carter, during the early hours of December 6, 1996, a masked Kwada Temoney, along with two others whose identities were shielded, broke into the home of Donald Brunson, a known drug dealer who was suspected of having a large amount of money hidden in his girlfriend’s home where he stayed. This home invasion of Brunson was carried out at approximately 3:00 am, according to Brunson’s girlfriend and a known victim/witness of the crime. Temoney pistol whipped Brunson in an attempt to get Brunson to give up the location of his financial cache. Brunson did not reveal the place where his money was hidden, but instead pleaded with his intruders, addressing Temoney by name. After Brunson recognized Temoney, he was taken from his girlfriend’s house by Temoney and his accomplices, and later turned up dead.

Although there was no forensic evidence or eyewitness testimony linking Shan Carter to the murder of Donald Brunson, Carter was charged as an accomplice in Brunson’s murder based solely on hearsay evidence by witnesses who lacked credibility. The prosecution made a plea deal (reminiscent of the kind made by Prosecutor Tom Ford in wrongly convicting Gregory Taylor) with Kwada Temoney which spared Temoney from the death penalty in exchange for Temoney giving testimony to implicate Shan Carter for being involved in the home invasion and the taking of Brunson’s life. Prosecutors also changed their narrative of the Donald Brunson murder stating that only two home invaders (Temoney and Shan Carter) were involved, instead of three as initially described by the victim/witness shortly after the crime took place.

In February 2, 2000, criminal defense attorney Richard Miller was appointed by the court to represent Shan Carter in the Brunson case after his predecessor William Bonney recused himself the previous month due to an apparent conflict of interest. Trial in the case against Carter was set to begin May 1, 2000, approximately three months after Miller was assigned. After accepting the case, and upon immediately noticing the lack of preparation by Carter’s former attorney, Miller, in March 2000, filed a motion asked Judge Hockenberry for a continuance for the beginning of the trial based on the following: 1) the defense had not been adequately prepared by his predecessor; 2) there had been little to no investigation done by the defense; 3) the prosecution had not turned over all discovery to the defense, and was slow to turn over discovery; and 4) Kenneth Hatcher, the attorney who had assisted Bonney initially, had no experience in handling defense in a capital case. Despite expressing to Judge Hockenberry his inability to adequately prepare to represent Carter by the trial date, the judge denied Miller’s motion to continue Carter’s trial.

During Carter’s 2000 trial for the murder of Donald Brunson, prosecutors made frequent references to the shootout involving Carter, Tyrone Baker, Kwada Temoney, during which Baker and eight year-old Demetrius Green were killed (even though the trial against Carter in this case had not yet been held and he had not been convicted of crimes in that case). Carter’s prosecutors sought help from the Federal Bureau of Investigations lab in an attempt to link Carter to the Brunson murder through mitochondrial DNA of hair specimens collected from two ski masks and a toboggan cap discovered abandoned in the victim’s car used in his kidnapping. If a physical link could be established between evidence collected and Shan Carter, prosecutors had planned to seek a death penalty conviction. However, because the FBI lab was unable to produce forensic results for which the prosecutors had prayed would help bolster a case against Carter which was totally lacking in credible evidence, and which was based solely on questionable hearsay testimony from unreliable sources, they instead opted for, and were successful in obtaining, a conviction against Carter which carried a life sentence.

The Brunson case conviction of Carter was quickly followed by the 2001 trial of Shan Carter for capital murder charges against him in the deaths of Tyrone Baker – a drug dealer, and 8 year-old Demetrius Green. In his trial, held before a jury consisting of eleven white people and one African American male, prosecutors repeatedly tied Carter to the Brunson murder (a crime which Shan Carter had always maintained his innocence and denied any involvement). Prosecutors sought a conviction against Carter by preying on the jurors’ empathy and sympathy for the death of an eight year-old boy… advising them not to allow the boy’s death to go unpunished.

Despite the fact that bullets, which might have come from Carter’s gun, struck down an armed and vengeful drug dealer and may have caused the death of an 8 year-old boy, the jury gave prosecutors what it wanted… a capital conviction against Carter for the death of Tyrone Baker (obviously a case of self-defense), and a capital conviction against Carter for the death of the boy Demetrius Green (obviously an accidental and unintentional incident). (I am still uncertain as to whether it has been scientifically established that the bullet or bullets responsible for Green’s death came from Carter’s weapon.)

The record shows that the only time Shan Carter has ever drawn and fired his gun was when he perceived this life to be in danger… in self-defense. His criminal activities were not confrontational in nature, as they mainly consisted selling heroin and of participating in burglaries of dwellings in which no one was at home. Shan never engaged in the armed robbery of a bank, or the armed robbery of an individual. Nor did he ever arm himself for the purpose of going in pursuit of an individual with the intent of taking a life.

When I visited Shan Carter in prison, it was quite sobering to see him wearing a red jumpsuit, which signifies that he is a Death Row inmate. It is such a miscarriage of justice when one considers that he was convicted in the Donald Brunson murder without any credible evidence or eyewitness testimony. The conviction of Shan Carter for Brunson’s murder relied on perjured hearsay testimony of disreputable individuals making statements which the polygraph tester interpreted as deceptive and or statements made in exchange for money. Not only that, but the state withheld from the defense exculpatory mitochondrial DNA evidence on hair samples which supported Shan’s contention that he was not even present when the kidnapping and murder of Brunson took place. The prosecution played fast and loose with discovery by withholding it and/or unacceptably delaying turning it over to the defense.

Like the two preceding Investigative Reports about MSNBC Senior Legal Analyst Susan Filan’s libelous fabrications about Mike Nifong and Duke University’s discrimination against me for openly being a supporter of Mike Nifong, a third Investigative Report will go into depth about the injustices against Shan Edward Carter by the state of North Carolina and its attempt to execute him without cause.

At tremendous expense and waste of taxpayer dollars to hold an inmate on Death Row, the state is proceeding to apply the irrevocable and most extreme punishment to Shan Carter… a man who was completely innocent of the kidnapping and murder of drug dealer Donald Brunson… a man who may have fired the bullet that killed drug dealer Tyrone Baker during an act in self-defense… and a man who has served more than a decade behind bars and may have been responsible for the accidental and inadvertent death of Demetrius Green, an 8 year-old boy who was sitting in a car when struck by a ricocheting bullet. The upcoming Investigative Report, along with future blogs, will provide extensive documentation to support the position that Shan Carter should not only be taken off Death Row, but released from prison with time served for the possible manslaughter charge related to the accidental death of Demetrius Green.

Friday, November 26, 2010

MSNBC Phil Griffin… a paragon of ethics?

It’s like de ja vu all over again. MSNBC President Phil Griffin is again chastising his network’s television hosts by meting out suspensions. The latest victim, according to a Bloomberg News article by Ronald Grover that appeared in the November 20, 2010 edition of The News & Observer is Joe Scarborough. He was placed on a two-day time out for making scintilla-sized donations of $500 to his brother and three of his longtime friends who were involved in local political races. The article did not mention whether or not Scarborough would be docked pay for the two day suspension.

Now, it appears that what Mr. Scarborough and Mr. Keith Olbermann, who underwent a similar suspension just weeks earlier, did was to violate the MSNBC policy which requires that political contributions be cleared in advance by the network. Scarborough and Olbermann did not consult the network before doling out their miniscule campaign contributions. It is obvious that the reason for the MSNBC policy requiring that contributions be cleared is so that the network can control which politicians receive campaign contributions. If, for example, Joe Scarborough wanted to contribute to a politician whose views were not to the liking of the MSNBC bigwigs, his request would be denied. Or, if Keith Olbermann wanted to make a donation to a politician whose goals were similar and/or favorable to those of MSNBC, then he would receive the go-ahead. So, the MSNBC policy requiring that contributions be cleared in advance, is, itself, unethical and sleazy.

A contrite Mr. Scarborough was quick to accept responsibility for his misstep, which was the right thing to do… especially if he wanted to remain employed at the network. This is the kind of bullying that keeps MSNBC employees “in their place.” That is why Mr. Scarborough, Keith Olbermann, and Rachel Maddow won’t comment about MSNBC Senior Legal Analyst Susan Filan’s libelous online statement about former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong. Let’s face it, if I were in their shoes, I probably wouldn’t either, especially if I had a family to support, a mortgage to pay, and wanted to live a luxurious lifestyle. It is never wise to bite the hand that feeds you. So, I do not fault them for choosing to look the other way when it comes to Ms. Filan’s misdeeds.

For those unfamiliar with Ms. Filan’s June 17, 2007 article in which she stated that Mike Nifong asked his son to attend his hearing before the North Carolina State Bar, and then trashed him for doing so and suggested that he used his son to gain sympathy and pity, a full Investigative Report is available on our website: The problem with the June 17th article by Ms. Filan is that she fabricated the part about Mr. Nifong asking his son to attend his hearing. She just made it up out of thin air. No one gave her such information and she never viewed a recording in which Mr. Nifong made the statement. Fact of the matter is, after I spoke with Mrs. Nifong, who is privy to private Nifong household conversations, told me that Mr. Nifong specifically asked his son not to attend, but that his son insisted on doing so to show support for his embattled father. This illustrates that although it was Ms. Filan who accused Mr. Nifong of using his son for his personal gain, it was Ms. Filan who used Mr. Nifong’s son to her benefit… and her objective was to carry out a Jedi Mind-trick on the public. Her actions were sanctioned, no doubt, by the head honchos at MSNBC who were in cahoots with others in the media, the state of North Carolina, the North Carolina State Bar, the triumvirate of barristers representing the Carpetbagger families of the Duke Lacrosse players, and others conspirators to destroy Mike Nifong.

Because the media closely adheres to the Carpetbagger Jihad agenda against Nifong, it goes out of its way not to broadcast or publish articles about events which shine a positive light on Mr. Nifong, or events which cast a negative shadow on his detractors. Such is what happened at Duke University on April 14, 2010, when I attended an event on the Duke campus which was advertised as open to the public. At the conclusion of the informal interview of guest Justice Stephen Breyer, I was approached by security and asked to leave the campus. I was targeted not for anything I said or anything I did. I was kicked off campus because of my thoughts, opinions, and beliefs about Mike Nifong. In other words, I was discriminated against because I was an openly known supporter of Mike Nifong. The security guard, who was sent to oust me in this premeditated and malicious incident, had no idea why I was being evicted, and as he stated repeatedly, he was “only doing my job.” And, I believe him, but, just because I tried to ascertain from him the reason for my being escorted off campus, he repeatedly threatened me with arrest. The majority of my conversation with the security guard is on audio record along with a transcript now available on the Investigative Report section of our website.

The media has no problem covering other instances of discrimination, such as that at Raleigh’s Cameron Village Shopping Center recently, during which a security guard asked two lesbians who were showing a little public affection to leave the property. Coverage was intensive and extensive… including the incident, the apology, the meeting between the aggrieved and the employer of the security guard, and the rally which celebrated the concessions won to protect rights of gays and lesbians on Cameron Village grounds. Even CNN gave the incident heavy news air time, and an appearance on the Joy Behar show. However, I am told by a media-type that Duke’s discrimination against me (based solely upon what was contained within my cranium) is not newsworthy. It is obvious that the definition of “newsworthy” is applied by a separate set of standards when it comes to Mike Nifong… and that is not surprising, because everything having to do with Mr. Nifong (his disbarment, persecution, and denied rights) is singular.

So the ethical Mr. Griffin, who probably made political contributions which he cleared with himself, will most likely continue to do his part to keep the masses ignorant of the egregious and blatantly false writings of MSNBC Senior Legal Analyst Susan Filan, as well and the inexcusable lapses of judgment on the part of Duke University in its discriminatory actions against me. That, unfortunately, is the reality of today’s media, a place wherein there is no room for ethics.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Annual Justice System Thanksgiving blessings

During the past twelve months, Tar Heelians have had few successes in the criminal justice system tally, but the few we have had have been profoundly significant. Without doubt, our number one blessing for which we should all be thankful is the release from a life sentence and exoneration from a murder conviction of Gregory Flint Taylor. Taylor, you will recall, was maliciously and willfully convicted for the 1991 murder of Jacquetta Thomas in Raleigh. Prosecutor Tom Ford managed to win a conviction against Taylor despite 1) lack of physical evidence tying Taylor to the crime; 2) the use of perjured testimony from unreliable and compromised witnesses; and 3) hocus-pocus forensics by the SBI lab. With full knowledge that Taylor was innocent of the crime, Prosecutor Ford prosecuted Taylor in a vendetta against Taylor who refused to falsely implicate Johnny Beck, a black man who was the primary target of Ford in this crime. We are all grateful that Taylor, though wrongfully incarcerated for seventeen years, was finally freed through the efforts of advocates for the wrongly convicted.

Secondly, all Tar Heelians should be thankful for the work of the NC Center for Actual Innocence for its significant contributions in winning the freedom of Greg Taylor. We are fortunate to have Christine Mumma, its director and co-founder, along with co-founder retired Judge I. Beverly Lake, heading this august group.

Third, we can also be thankful for work done by Duke law professor James Coleman on behalf of the wrongly convicted and incarcerated. Heading a program at Duke University School of Law, it has met with successes during the past year, as well.

Fourth, we can all be thankful for the exposure of the unfair and unethical practices employed by NC prosecutors who manipulated the shoddy SBI lab results that were instrumental in obtaining hocus-pocus “win-at-all-cost” convictions. Hopefully, revelations about these unfair practices which have been in play for decades will present currently imprisoned innocents with keys to freedom from their unjust confinement.

Fifth, we should be thankful for the courageous members of the Committee on Justice for Mike Nifong, who lend their names and faces to the worthy cause of seeking justice for Mike Nifong… justice being the unilateral and unconditional reinstatement of his license to practice law in North Carolina without restrictions.

Finally, all North Carolinians can be thankful for Mike Nifong who represents the ideals of a prosecutorial “Minister of Justice.” In the Duke Lacrosse case, Nifong placed his dedication and determination to pursue justice above the real and imminent threat of losing his incumbency bid to be elected as Durham district attorney. He eschewed the warnings and pressures of prosecuting the case by acting independently to pursue justice against three defendants deemed by many – including media-types – to be of Class and Color too powerful, prestigious, privileged, and prominent to be convicted. And because Mike Nifong adhered to the principle of “equal justice for all,” he, like Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Beckett (who defied England’s King Henry II) suffered the consequences by being subjected to singular and draconian retribution by the state of North Carolina, and crucifixion in the biased mainstream media.

We should all give thanks fo the above. Hopefully by the time next Thanksgiving rolls around, we will have more criminal justice victories under our belt to celebrate.

I would like to thank all of those who have contributed comments to this blog regardless of their positions, all who read this blog, and all who are advocates for justice in North Carolina. Your participation is what makes this blog the success it is and contributes to making justice in the state a reality and not just a mirage. I am hoping that you all enjoy the presence of family and friends during this special holiday, and that after a hearty meal of turkey, stuffing, cranberries and all of the trimmings you are able to push away from the dinner table without being uncomfortably stuffed.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Duke… too big to be forced to do the right thing?

After posting the blog which directed viewers to the Investigative Report that detailed the incidents involved in April 14, 2010 discrimination against me by Duke University (which included an audio of part of my conversation with the guard), one of the commenters who goes by the nom de plum of “Anonymous” sarcastically stated “good luck.” It is obvious to commenters possessing intelligence and logic, even those who disagree with me about Mr. Nifong (e.g. Walt-in-Durham and guiowen), that the treatment I received at Duke was outrageous and inappropriate. It is equally apparent to politicians such as those who represent me, that I was discriminated against solely for my thoughts and opinions regarding Mike Nifong. However, because of the emotionally negative media hype against Nifong in the well orchestrated Carpetbagger Jihad agenda, politicians are not willing to get involved in the fray. Unlike former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong, who confronted the Duke Lacrosse case head-on despite risks to his election to another term as D.A., politicians, it seems, lack the courage to wade into the morass that was created on the Duke campus on April 14th… a pre-meditated, malicious, and unwarranted attack against a person launched solely because of his beliefs about Nifong which were not consistent with those of the university.

Having recently emerged from a serious mid-term election, the politicians can be given some slack for not immediately responding to the request for their input and involvement in this issue of civil rights importance. But it is an issue that will not disappear, in spite of the media’s best efforts to ignore it. Unlike other instances of discrimination which the media has jumped on whole hog, such as that at Cameron Village, the act of discrimination at Duke University involves Duke… the institution in Durham that is too big to be forced to follow rules, regulations, ethics, and principles that others are constrained to abide by. The Cameron Village incident is a case in point. The security officer at the mall requested two lesbians to leave the property because they showed affection in public… an action which the guard deemed to be objectionable, although it was an action which did not violate any rules or regulations. The York Properties company acted swiftly and appropriately to this act of discrimination by one of its employees, utilizing the principles of “restorative justice.” The head of the company met with the two women who were discriminated against, and he accepted responsibility for the discriminatory actions, apologized to the two women, made it clear that such discrimination would not take place again, and told of steps that would be taken to see that such discrimination would never recur.

York Properties acted in a timely and responsible way, and it no doubt was motivated to do so by the intensive and extensive media coverage. Local and national newspapers and television stations covered every single step, beginning with the incident itself, the apology, the meeting with the head of York Properties, the acceptance of the demands made by the women who were offended, and the rally which emphasized the anti-discrimination concessions they had won. CNN was one of the national news stations which heavily covered the event.

When it comes to Duke University, on the other hand, the media cowers in the shadow of the institution’s might. The media dare not publish or air an article that might stoke the anger of Durham’s giant, and to do a story on discrimination by Duke, especially against a pro-Nifong supporter carries only risks and no benefits for them. The media would much rather keep the public ignorant of Duke’s unethical act of discrimination and its ludicrous response. Unlike York Properties, which took the high road to resolving the situation, Duke took the low one, because it felt that it was powerful enough to do so and get away with it. So when I asked Duke University for an official response as to why I was kicked off campus and by whom, I was told that it was because I handed out business cards to its students and employees and asked them to visit my website. As ridiculous as it sounds, it is the best excuse that the university could concoct. To make matters worse, its spokesman, Michael Schoenfeld lied by trying to shift blame from someone in administration and place it on Duke Police. There is no doubt that Duke police have more important things to do that escort people off campus for handing out business cards and monitoring visitors’ conversations to see whether or not they are "soliciting."

So, not only does Duke not accept responsibility for its premeditated and malicious action, but it lays the blame for the incident on me, a guest invited to their campus for an event. Duke does not apologize to me, which I would not expect and would not seek because it has no remorse for its despicable actions towards me. And it makes plain that it will continue to act against me in the future if I hand out business cards on its campus. But as anyone with reason knows, the act of discrimination against me was purely due to the fact that I am an openly known supporter of Mike Nifong.

Duke could learn a lot from York Properties about how to handle issues that arise wherein the conduct of one of its employees is egregious and unacceptable. Duke, like York Properties, and each and every one of us should be held accountable for its actions. Duke is not and should not be treated as privileged and exempt from following the basic rules of civility and decency to which we all are expected to adhere.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Formal Discrimination complaint against Duke University

I have finally completed my Investigative Report regarding the discrimination against me by Duke University during an event on April 14, 2010. This report, which includes the formal complaint filed with the Coordination and Review Section in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, contains all exhibits submitted with the complaint and more. Of special importance is the audio with accompanying transcript of the conversation between me and the security guard. You will note that during my conversation with the guard he did not answer my question regarding why I was being kicked off the campus. You will also note how quickly the guard was to threaten me with arrest… and for no other reason than trying to understand why I was being ordered off university property. You will note, as well, that there was no reason on tape to suggest that backup should be called into the situation. Yes, I was upset for being ejected from the Duke grounds, but the last time I checked, it was not against the law to be upset.

The Investigative Report also highlights the reticence of the media, politicians, and civil rights agencies to grapple with discrimination when it comes to discrimination against an openly Nifong supporter.

You will also note the obvious discrepancies between what was said by the security guard and what the Duke spokesman, Michael Schoenfeld put in writing to me… which was a cockamamie excuse and a lie. It will be evident from the documents within the Investigative Report that I made every possible good faith effort to resolve the situation in way that was in the best interest of Duke and myself. And there can be no doubt that Duke’s actions against me the day of April 14, 2010 were willful, premeditated, malicious, and unwarranted.

I will provide links below to Exhibit 4, which contains the audio and transcripts. Click the Directory button to access the directory of the Investigative Report about Duke University’s discrimination. Comments are welcome and will be appreciated. They can be sent to our e-mail address: .


Friday, November 12, 2010

Panthers and people of Durham County have no one to blame but themselves

In the November 11, 2010 sports section of The News & Observer, writer Caulton Tudor opined what everyone who follows the NFL already knows… the Carolina Panthers are terrible. Titled “Panthers are awful, and no fun to watch: Even worse, there’s not much hope for the future,” Tudor whines about how depressing it is to watch the 1-7 team which appears to be struggling mightily to win. He is especially critical of the Panthers’ quarterbacks, stating that they lack any hint of promise or improvement… and that they are unable to get the ball with an accurate throw to the team’s most exciting player Steve Smith. Mr. Tudor ranks another 1-7 team, the Dallas Cowboys, as being better than Carolina. Even winless Buffalo Bills are placed in a more enviable position than the lackluster Panthers.

Now, there is not much that I disagree with in the Tudor evaluation, including his prediction that Coach John Fox will not be able to retain his position as head coach. Although I will bet dollars to doughnuts that Tudor is equally accurate in his assessment that John Fox will not be at the team’s helm next season, that doesn’t mean I have to like it. It seems that whenever a team goes into a tailspin, the solution all too often is to release the coach. With the Carolina Panthers, it is the owners who are responsible for the dire situation in which they find themselves. First they were too quick to rid themselves of the veteran quarterback (Jake Delhomme) whose play was admittedly streaky at times, with no quarterback of substance to step in immediately and take over the position. Matt Moore and Jim Clausen may very well develop into first rate quarterbacks, but that usually requires experience to back up talent. Secondly, and more importantly, the owners of the Carolina Panthers had the opportunity to pick up, for a song, one of the best and most exciting quarterbacks in the league… Michael Vick. But they didn’t.

After Vick was released from incarceration after serving a two year sentence for his role in a dog-fighting venture, he was available to play for all of the teams in the league. Carolina could have made an offer to Mr. Vick, which I am sure he would have taken. As it was, no team showed any interest in having Michael Vick on their team. Carolina definitely did not. Philadelphia Eagles was the only team willing to give Vick any consideration, and this only after its star quarterback McNabb pleaded with the Eagles to give Vick a chance. So, it was only with reluctance that Michael Vick landed on an NFL team as a backup QB. This is hard to comprehend when one considers the talents of Vick… he has a rifle for an arm, the southpaw is accurate with his throws, he runs like a deer, and he has the ability to escape from a collapsing pocket and turn a big loss into a big gain. Talk about an exciting tandem of Vick and Steve Smith… makes your mouth water. Not only that, but Vick has been playing in the league for years, so he brought with him to Philadelphia on-the-field experience, as well a maturity that was honed in prison.

Panther owners passed on the opportunity to have Michael Vick quarterback the Carolina franchise, and now to make amends for their lack of foresight they will most likely sack their head coach, John Fox. Had the owners made the logical and intelligent decision to immediately pick up Vick the moment he was available, there is little doubt that the Panthers’ record would more likely than not be better than .500. There is no doubt that it would be better than it is currently. An attempt to obtain Vick was not a coaching decision, rather it was a ownership one, and because the ownership messed up by not at least trying to acquire Vick, it appears as though the Panthers, Coach Fox, Panther fans, and Sports commentator Caulton Tudor will suffer.

The reason the Panthers owners did not go after Vick is not a mystery. They were in cahoots with the other owners to blacklist Michael Vick. He was not supposed to be picked up by any NFL team, but the Philadelphia Eagles owner, it seems, would much rather have a chance at bringing home a championship trophy than engaging in a loosely knit cabal to put a premature end to a talented professional’s career. Not so, the Carolina Panthers owners (who needed a quality quarterback much more than Philadelphia which had Hall of Fame-bound quarterback Donovan McNabb at the time), and as a direct result, the Tar Heel state team is now suffering the consequences.

The media has kept quiet about the debacle with NFL teams not pursuing Michael Vick, especially those in need of a quality player in the game’s most important position. Mr. Tudor did not even mention the fact that Carolina passed on the opportunity to obtain Vick. And, of course, since Michael Vick landed with the Eagles, the media has consistently tried to stir up a quarterback controversy in Philadelphia... even after Vick’s spectacular play was interrupted by a rib cartilage injury. I did not buy into the media’s QB controversy hype for a minute because I knew that when Vick recovered that he would be playing… and he would be playing because the Eagles want to win more than they want to punish a man who has served his time with dignity.

As I have stated before, this same sort of blacklisting can be compared to legal events in the cash-strapped city of Durham. Another Michael, former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong, represented the finest prosecutor, in my opinion, that the state of North Carolina will ever have the fortune to have. He had nearly three decades of prosecutorial experience under his belt when the Duke Lacrosse case fell into his lap, and he had built a reputation of being a prosecutor who was fair and who had integrity. One thing that set Mr. Nifong apart from other prosecutors is the fact that he was independent in seeing that justice prevailed. Very much like Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Beckett who defied England’s King Henry II and followed strong-held religious principles much to his detriment, District Attorney Nifong defied the wishes of the Powers-That-Be when he proceeded to prosecute the three Duke Lacrosse defendants based on statements made by an alleged sexual assault African American victim. When the defense attorneys for the Duke Lacrosse defendants filed a motion for prosecutorial discovery, Nifong’s office responded within 24 hours with approximately 1,500 pages of documents, plus CDs and DVDs. The media has never mentioned that Mr. Nifong has always maintained an open file policy when it came to sharing evidence with defense attorneys… doing so 25 years before it became mandated by law. Finally, Mr. Nifong demonstrated his dedication to the principle of acting as a “Minister of Justice” when, after later statements by the alleged accuser did not meet standard for rape, he immediately dropped those charges against the Lacrosse defendants.

The media, egged on the Carpetbagger families of the Duke Lacrosse defendants, flagrantly devoted its energies to destroy Mike Nifong. One outstanding example was the fabrication by MSNBC Legal Analyst Susan Filan that Mr. Nifong requested that his son attend his hearing. Using this false statement, she then lambasted Mr. Nifong for using his son, when she is the one, in fact, who was using Mr. Nifong’s son. Another example of media bias was the rigged Primary Poll sponsored by ABC-11 News in an attempt to establish a pitiful and diabolical motive for Mr. Nifong’s decision to prosecute the Duke boys. Another egregious act by all media was the misleading and false statements that the Duke Lacrosse defendants were exonerated, cleared, and determined to be not guilty… all based on Attorney General Roy Cooper’s April 11, 2007 “Innocent Promulgation.” Although the state persecuted Mr. Nifong, it was the media that crucified him, and turned the unwitting public against him.

In comparison of the cases of the two Michaels, the owners of the Carolina Panthers went along with the overriding consensus of the majority of other NFL owners… only at their detriment when giving up the golden opportunity to have on their roster one of the game’s most exciting and talented players. The people of Durham County, who did not rally behind their unjustly beleaguered district attorney, are the ones who suffer by not having as district attorney the man who epitomizes “equal justice for all.” Furthermore they lack the services of a prosecutor who has the courage to go it alone in truly fulfilling his role as a “Minister of Justice.” Whereas the people of North Carolina should be well aware of the blunder by the Carolina Panther owners, it may take some time before the people of Durham County realize theirs.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

MSNBC hypocritical in its suspension of Olbermann

Phil Griffin, MSNBC President, made the decision to suspend Keith Olbermann without pay from his program on that cable station after he became aware that Olbermann had made political contributions to three Democratic campaigns last month. According to the New York Times article, Mr. Olbermann donated $2,400 to three campaigns, which evidently violated policies in place at MSNBC. In reaching his decision to act against Mr. Olbermann, Mr. Griffin consulted first with Steve Capus, President of NBC News, and Jeff Zucker, CEO of NBC-Universal. Mr. Griffin was actually quoted in an early Friday, November 5th, afternoon statement as saying, “Mindful of NBC News policy and standards, I have suspended him indefinitely without pay.”

To add fuel to the fire, Bob Steele, the Director of the Prindle Institute for Ethics at DePauw University, issued the following comment on the subject, “When a journalist becomes an activist, the principle of independence is not just eroding, it’s corroding from within.”

Donating a paltry sum to a several political campaigns pales in significance to the outlandish act of brazenly lying to the public… as Susan Filan did in an online article. Ms. Filan is the Senior Legal Analyst for MSNBC, and in an article in 2007 titled “Nifong’s punishment severe, appropriate,” she fabricates a story in which she accuses former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong of asking his son to attend his hearing before the North Carolina State Bar. The statement is given as fact, as though she was in the Nifong living room and heard it firsthand. She compounds the libelous statement by using it to attack Mr. Nifong’s character… suggesting that he had selfish motives in “asking” his son to attend his hearing… possibly to gain pity or sympathy she conjectures.

Since I first read the article by Ms. Filan, I had doubts about its veracity as I wondered how she would be privy to such information. Surely she was not a guest in the Nifong household when the comments were made. I thought that she most likely had caught a video tape in which Mr. Nifong might have mentioned that he asked his son to attend his hearing. I didn’t know exactly how she came about her information, but because she used it as a basis to denigrate Mr. Nifong’s sensitivities and parenting skills, I thought that she had a basis for making the claim that Mr. Nifong asked his son to attend his hearing. So, I thought that I would just verify her statement by asking the Nifongs directly. I must say that I was not at all surprised to learn that the MSNBC Senior Legal Analyst statements were nothing more than a figment of her imagination. It never happened. In fact, what happened was to the contrary. Mr. Nifong asked his son not to attend the hearing, but he insisted on showing support for his embattled father… like any good son with proper upbringing would do.

MSNBC Senior Legal Analyst Filan accused Mr. Nifong of using his son and taking advantage of him, but as it is now clearly apparent, Ms. Filan is the one who took advantage of Mr. Nifong’s son. She used him to get in a flagrant below the belt jab at Mr. Nifong. The evidence is all laid out in the Investigative Reports section of the official Committee on Justice for Mike Nifong website (

As was plainly pointed out in the writings in the investigative reports, including several other blogs on the topic, what is truly alarming is the unwillingness of the individuals at MSNBC to investigate themselves or take any action whatever. I wrote to Ms. Filan in December 2009, asking for any documentation or source for her statement about the alleged conversation between Mr. Nifong and his son. She refused to respond. When I wrote to Rick Cotton, the General Counsel of NBC-Universal and Jeff Zucker, the CEO of NBC-Unversal, all letters sent to them by certified mail were returned with the word “refused.” They are doing their best to protect Ms. Filan and to continue to mislead viewers who go online to read her 2007 article.

Now I don’t know if Mr. Steele would consider fabricating a story to use in order to attack someone’s character unethical, but I certainly do. In fact, I would consider it to be a far more egregious act than doling out a few bucks to the campaign coffers of a few politicians. MSNBC Senior Legal Analyst Susan Filan’s article and the reaction (or more accurately, inaction) of Mr. Cotton and Mr. Zucker to my queries about it directly bring the credibility of NBC News into question.

One thing is apparent to me, however, and that is that the mainstream media, and most media in general, have a well entrenched bias against Mr. Nifong. To them, any story that sheds any favorable light on Mr. Nifong is not “newsworthy.” They go to extremes to ignore it. Will New York Times writers Brian Stelter and Bill Carter write about Susan Filan lying to the public? I doubt it. Not because they do not want to, but that the Powers-That-Be who pay their salaries and upon whom their livelihoods depends will quash any attempt to do so. As has been pointed out in the News section of our website, Rae Evans, mother of Duke Lacrosse defendant Dave Evans, worked as an executive at CBS News for more than a decade… and of course she has strong ties with many in the news media.

Phil Griffin can levy sanctions against Keith Olbermann for a bit of trifle, but when it comes to serious matters of intentionally lying to the public as documented in the Susan Filan incident (the Senior Legal Analyst of MSNBC), you can count on him to go along with Rick Cotton and Jeff Zucker… acting like an ostrich and sticking his head in the ground… acting oblivious to the potential for great harm she’s doing to his company, and to the news media in general.

As far as suspending Mr. Olbermann indefinitely without pay, I think it was an ill-advised and petty response. Reinstate Keith Olbermann immediately. The person who is deserving of suspension and other punitive actions for fabricating stories is the person that all of the MSNBC and NBC-Universal executives are circling the wagons to protect.

Susan Filan LINK:

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Important announcements and information – a wild ride is ahead

There are important and exciting changes and events coming soon on the Committee on Justice for Mike Nifong’s website: First of all, you will notice that there will be much more in the way of audio available. It will be present on various web pages, and not limited to the Multi-media section. Audio will also be presented on videos, especially animated ones such as the second preview trailer for the upcoming educational comic strip, “The MisAdventures of Super-Duper Cooper. A link to it will be provided in this blog.

There will also be more animations and videos added to the website, as time permits. A series of previews with variations announcing the upcoming Episode V of “Super-Duper” are in the works and will be added as well. A complete collection of them will be found on You Tube.

To celebrate the upcoming New Year, Episode V will have its first installment posted online on our website on 2011’s first Sunday, January 2nd. Successive episodes will be posted each following Sunday. This comic strip episode is much larger than previous episodes… larger than the previous four combined. Not only that, but it will be more educational, and, of course, hilarious. Many familiar North Carolina celebs will be featured in cameo guest spots, especially those in the media. The strip will also feature one of this blog’s commenters in an extended role.

Since switching formats for the websites many links are not properly established, and I apologize for that. I will try to get them up and running as soon as possible.

A section of which I am extremely proud is Investigative Reports. Currently, the report about MSNBC’s Senior Legal Analyst Susan Filan’s blatantly libelous online statement is featured. These reports contain documents and other forms of evidence to support premises presented. There are two upcoming reports that are in the pipeline that you will not want to miss. One is an extended report about the discrimination against me by Duke University in April 2010. Discrimination was based solely on the fact that Duke did not approve of my beliefs and thoughts… specifically, after attending an event open to the public, I was kicked off campus because I am a supporter of justice for Mike Nifong. Instead of complying with principles of decency and restorative justice, the university tried to defend its deplorable actions. This Investigative Report will include an audio recording of between the security guard and myself (along with a transcript) that is the crux of this horrendous incident. And there are plenty of supporting documents as well that are creatively displayed on the site.

Another upcoming topic for the Investigative Report, and a case about which much of this website and blog will be devoted to is about the injustice of a man serving time in jail who was wrongly convicted of murder. He was also convicted and received the death penalty for the deaths of two other individuals… deaths which should have never been considered as premeditated or worthy of the death penalty. Deaths in those cases should have been considered as self-defense and manslaughter. It will be very apparent after viewing that Investigative Report why the Tar Heel state has earned its reputation for meting out “selective justice based on Class and Color.”

So, hang on to you i-Pad, laptop, or desktop, because we’re in for a wild ride beginning in the next couple of days.