Yet, as I watch Buzz Franklin and his gang of criminals at work, I can see that these are people who actually learned from the Master Himself: Nifong. It was Nifong, after all, who knew that early on, he had no case against any of the Duke University lacrosse players, even going so far as to tell one of his investigators, "We're fu*ked," and then trying to figure how in the world he could make his frame work.
One of the things he did rivaled anything Franklin and Chris "Alberto-Facebook" Arnt, Len "Racist-Misogynist-Homophobe-The Man" Gregor, and Alan "Wannabe" Norton might think of doing. When it became clear that Nifong wanted to indict Reade Seligmann for the alleged rape (that never happened) of Crystal Mangum, Mr. Seligmann's defense desperately tried to get Nifong to look at clear, photographic and digital evidence that Reade was not even at the place where and when the alleged rape was supposed to have occurred.
However, Nifong, claiming he did "not have the time to read fiction," refused even to look at anything that Mr. Seligmann's attorney provided. After Mr. Seligmann was indicted, his attorney, the late Kirk Osborn, posted the material on the Internet (something that openly enraged Nifong, who went on an obscenity-screaming rampage at the Durham County Courthouse). Furthermore, CNN and other news outlets did an interview with Moez Elmostafa, the immigrant African cab driver who had given Reade a ride to the bank, where his digitized photo was taken at an automated teller.
When I saw the interview, I immediately wrote a letter to Bill Thomas, an attorney representing other lacrosse players, and told him that Mr. Elmostafa was in grave danger, and that Nifong would try to trump up charges against him. My instincts were on the mark, unfortunately.
Shortly after the interview, Nifong's investigator, Linwood Wilson (who now faces criminal charges on another matter in Delaware for felony threats against his estranged wife) found that there was an outstanding shoplifting warrant against Mr. Elmostafa. (As would be found out later, the charge was unfounded, but I don't want to get ahead of myself.)
Mr. Elmostafa had given a ride to a woman who, it turned out, had shoplifted some purses from a department store. That Mr. Elmostafa had cooperated with police in helping them arrest the woman apparently had fallen through the evidence cracks. When he was arrested, Nifong's people asked him if he was willing to change his story on giving Mr. Seligmann a ride; he refused, and Nifong had him arrested and charged.
The woman in question by then was out of jail, but Nifong sent Durham police to raid her home, and police found items they believed MIGHT have been stolen. They they charged her with theft, but promised her a great deal: she could be let off the hook IF she would testify that Mr. Elmostafa was her accomplice.
As it turned out, the woman refused to lie (unlike the "officers of the court" who are sworn to tell the truth) and the prosecution's case against Mr. Elmostafa crashed and burned at trial. Even though Durham police officers sat behind Elmostafa, trying to stare him down and intimidate him, the judge ruled him not guilty and Nifong's attempted frame-up fell apart.
What it took was an honest man who refused to lie and another person who was a thief, yet would not commit perjury in order to send an innocent man to jail. The authorities were dishonest and craven but even though they had a lot of power, they could not win. That would not be Nifong's last defeat, and in the end, he destroyed his career and did millions of dollars of damage.
In Tonya Craft's case, it took honest people like Kim Walker, who was pressured and threatened by LMJC officials and Sandra Lamb, yet refused to have her child used as a pawn in Buzz Franklin's Nifongesque scheme to wrongly convict someone. It took teachers from Chickamauga Elementary School who were willing to testify for Ms. Craft, despite opposition from the authorities and their own principal, who clearly was in
(These same teachers have received what effectively were letters of reprimand in their personnel files. Yes, the letters came from Sandra Lamb, but any letter in one's file is an official document, and legally speaking, it is no different than a reprimand coming from the principal or some other school official.)
The teachers showed courage and integrity. Buzz Franklin and the rest of the LMJC, people who are sworn always to be truthful when operating in a court of law, showed dishonesty, no integrity, and arrogance that told everyone they KNEW they were above the law. To be honest, while I think that arrogance plays a part in all of this along with, well, lack of intelligence, there are other factors, too. (Let's face it; "judge" Brian Outhouse probably got a raise in pay when he became a judge, as he seems not to have the intelligence of a real lawyer.)
First, these are people who have utter contempt for the law. They are like children who are permitted to make up the rules as they go along and have a rich mommy and daddy who enable this misbehavior. In the case of judges and prosecutors in the LMJC, the oversight agencies in Georgia simply refuse to hold any of these people to any kinds of standards of competency, legality, and ethics.
Second, in economic analysis, we say that people tend to self-select themselves into certain occupations, and I think more and more, we are seeing people who both are incompetent AND who love to bully others become prosecutors. Since most people come out of law school with a lot of debt, no one is going to settle for the kind of crappy pay that new assistant district attorneys (ADAs) receive unless there are promises to help pay off the debt AND there are other personal rewards for the prosecutors.
Think about it. Why else would Len Gregor write in a public post:
Going to law school was one of the best choices I ever made. I love being a prosecutor. I love being the man. It was worth the time, effort, and money.In other words, Gregor is writing that it is all about his ego, which is monstrous. Here is someone who was screaming in a courtroom at women who testified on behalf of Tonya about "boobs" and other body parts, and then was shocked, SHOCKED when the jurors concluded he was a boob himself. What kind of egomaniac would have a picture of himself taken next to a girl who is striking a very sexually-provocative pose, yet literally be screaming that because Tonya was photographed in a tasteful evening dress, she was a "narcissist" and, therefore, a child molester.
(Of course, Gregor also brags about his father being a West Point graduate. I have a colleague who went to West Point and I can tell the readers that he believes that Gregor's dishonesty is even more shameful because at least his father had some pretense of honor; Gregor has none. Notice that he and "Alberto-Facebook" Arnt ran and hid from the media after the trial like scared children, and then went on Channel 9 and outright lied again during their interview while the "reporter" asked them pathetic, softball questions. Yeah, Gregor really is "the man.")
Interestingly, the behavior of Gregor and Arnt before, during and after the trial actually mirrored what we saw from Mike Nifong. There never was a time when Nifong was not lying, and suborning perjury. Likewise, throughout the pretrial proceedings, during the trial, and afterward, the Dishonest Duo lied and lied and lied. Unlike Nifong, Arnt and Gregor work under a Georgia State Bar that refuses to discipline prosecutors no matter how illegal and unethical their behavior.
So, if "Alberto-Facebook," "the Misogynist-Racist-the man," and "Wannabe" declare "me no Nifong," don't believe them. One wonders of they have a shrine to Nifong in the Catoosa County Courthouse, complete with incense and candles. Maybe it is in the "secret room."