In writing this open letter to you, I hope you understand that I have written other open letters and if you see the events which followed, you might agree that I gave really good advice. For example, you might want to read this open letter I wrote to Mike Nifong shortly after the infamous December 15, 2006, hearing in which it became abundantly clear he had been hiding evidence and lying to a judge.
True, in this situation, Judge Brian House is part of the whole package of dishonesty, which makes thing even more complicated, but as much as I despise all three of you for making a mockery of justice, I am going to give you good advice. Yes, it is unsolicited advice, but it still is the best path for all three of you if you wish to save your careers.
"Save our careers?" you ask mockingly. Yes, save your careers. Let me explain.
In the fall of 2006, Mike Nifong was invulnerable, or so he thought. He won the general election in November, the courts were doing his bidding, and the New York Times was acting as his publicity agent. Many times I despaired as I saw him smirk in open court, roll his eyes when the defense attorneys were speaking, and generally behave as though he owned the world.
Ah, but Virgil Sollozzo in "The Godfather" believed he, too, was invulnerable because he had Captain McClusky as his bodyguard, but that did not save him. Likewise, the cocky Nifong strode into the December 15 hearing and limped away as the defense confronted him with exculpatory DNA results Nifong claimed did not exist. That was the last we saw of the cocky Nifong.
Six months later, he was in another hearing, facing a panel of the North Carolina State Bar, which pulled his law license and ended his legal career. I remember watching him weep at the end of the hearing, an utterly humiliated and pathetic creature. No one could have predicted such a scene seven months earlier.
I tell you this story because you three men are riding high. You own the courthouse. With House greasing the skids, you find that it is easy to introduce perjured testimony. Why, your witnesses are having sudden recalls of memory on the stand, and those memories just happen to match the stories you want to have told. Amazing! And it is so easy because you don't have a judge that is telling you that you are perpetrating a scam!
Why? Because House is in on this fraud. The only thing left to do is to fix a guilty verdict. Yes, you believe that if you can get a conviction, then all will be well.
I would like to differ with you on that. To the contrary, a "guilty" verdict will be the worst thing for you, and you don't want it under any circumstances. Oh, you tell yourself that it will be years before Tonya Craft wins an appeal -- if she wins it at all. You will be heroes, at least to Sandra Lamb and Sherry Wilson, as they seem to be running the show down there, anyway.
However, let me warn you that if there is a conviction, all three of you are going to face scrutiny like you never have before. While it is true that the national media has not covered this case, I can assure you that if you manage to get Ms. Craft thrown into prison, this conviction and its aftermath will find its way to the desks of some prominent journalists, and I can guarantee you that these reporters will not be deferential to you the way that local folk have to bow down to your wishes.
Do you think I am joking? A few days after the December 15 hearing, the Los Angeles Times was calling for Nifong to resign. The LA Times! More than 2,000 miles away! That meant Nifong's shenanigans had reached the Pacific Coast, and it also meant that Nifong was fair game for journalists who wanted a piece of him.
Right now, the three of you are running a dictatorship. You have managed to suppress evidence, keep key defense witnesses from testifying, and coach your own witnesses to lie under oath without any worry of sanctions. In other words, you have created your own reality, and it is fun watching decent people squirm as you strut your stuff.
However, all of that will change if the national media becomes convinced that Ms. Craft was railroaded by three men who ran roughshod over innocent people and the law. Furthermore, don't be fooled by Ms. Craft's tears when you had her own daughter testify untruthfully against her. She is a survivor, and she will become more determined if she is forced against her will into a prison, and she will harness that anger into an appeal that ultimately will expose your whole crooked operation.
You see, Ms. Craft would not be the only person you have railroaded on false charges. People whom you have mowed down are telling me their stories, and those stories will make some journalists very interested. There are a lot of innocent people whose lives you have ruined because, frankly, you enjoyed it. As you yourself said, Mr. Gregor, you "love" to be "the man."
I can assure you, however, that someone from the New York Times or Fox News will not be impressed by your "the Man" act. Judge Andrew Napolitano and others there already are aware of what you are doing, and they are waiting to see what the jury ultimately does. If it returns a "guilty" verdict, trust me when I tell you that you will be dealing with journalists who see you as a liar and a bully, and will treat you as such.
Furthermore, the journalists are going to find and expose a number of things. They will tell the world about the therapist in Atlanta whose office you raided (and took the Tonya Craft file), and your police state tactics won't look so good on the big screen. Unlike the local news, which cannot report the disparaging remarks House made about the defense counsel and Ms. Craft because they came before testimony began, national journalists won't be afraid of your suing them. The very words you said will be shown to the world, and I can assure you that Tim Deal won't look to tough to a reporter who is not afraid of him and who holds him in total contempt.
Do you believe that just because you can make sport of the defense lawyers in your court, Mr. House, that they are not going to remember what you did? These lawyers have connections, and it is not about the money for them. They see what you are doing, and they are talking to other attorneys, and there are going to be some people out there who are motivated enough to make serious legal trouble for you.
I am not kidding. Nifong openly insulted attorney Joe Cheshire, but it was Cheshire who turned that scoundrel into the state bar, and it was Cheshire who was sitting in that room when Nifong bawled like a baby as his career was given the boot. All three of you have crossed a line, and you know it, and a lot of other people know it, too.
Moreover, the media will start scrutinizing your other "molestation" cases that featured Deal and the same gaggle of charlatans posing as "forensic investigators" at the Children's Advocacy Centers in Fort Oglethorpe and Dalton. And as the truth comes out, drip by drip, your friends in high places are going to start running for cover, just as they did in North Carolina as Nifong's legal shenanigans were exposed.
Trust me when I tell you that the very people you believe will cover your tails are going to be the ones who throw you under the bus. Don't think that you save your careers by bullying others, because it won't work.
So, if you wish to avoid the scrutiny which ultimately will bring you down, I know of only one way for that to happen: lose this case. The best way is for House, after the state "rests," to direct the jury to return a "not guilty" verdict.
What? You think I am joking, don't you. Lose the case? After the three of you have worked so hard to make sure that the fix was in? Yes, that is what I am saying.
Yeah, you would win now, and you could claim that a jury convicted Ms. Craft, not you, but you also would know that had you and your witnesses been telling the truth, and had not House done everything in his power to keep Ms. Craft from mounting a proper defense, the jury would have no problem at all in voting for acquittal.
Don't kid yourselves. None of you ever have felt the scrutiny of the national media. Nifong believed they were eating out of his hand -- until he found that the press decided he might look better with that hand chopped off. It is not pleasant, and you and your families do not want to endure it.
So, if you win, you lose. To be frank, I want to see you lose, and still undergo the scrutiny, but if Ms. Craft is found not guilty, the national media won't even try to find Ringgold on the map.
I don't give you this advice because I like any of you. Indeed, I believe you to be loathsome characters who have perverted justice out of a sheer sense of enjoyment, which makes you pretty disgusting creatures. That any of you are permitted even to use the bathroom in a court of law is disgraceful, let alone that one of you actually wears the black robe of justice.
Nonetheless, while I hope your careers crash and burn, I am giving you the advice on how to save them. When I gave the rogue Nifong similar counsel, he rejected it and tried his best to steer his Titanic away from the iceberg.
Unknown to him, however, his ship already was doomed. Yours is not, but if you manage to contrive a conviction from that pack of lies you presented, then it only is a matter of time before you receive the Nifong treatment. It is not pleasant, but if it is given to you, I can assure you that you will have deserved all of it.