Saturday, June 16, 2007

Hollow Justice

[Posted by reader_iam]

I'm watching breaking news about Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong's disbarment. (His title isn't really the Duke prosecutor, you know.) The ethics committee chairman is droning on, grinding out cliches endlessly, but I forgive him because the decision is right, and it sure beats the alternative. I know that disbarment is the strictest sanction, but still, it feels more like "justice at least" than "justice at best." Of course, that's essentially been the underlying theme of this entire case and situation, start to finish.

I can't summon up any pity for Nifong, especially after watching his tearful little performance yesterday. Or after reading this New York Times story this morning, in which statements from his lawyers imply that Nifong's problems, at least in part, stemmed from his inexperience with "the media." (Oh, balderdash.) [For added: See ****.] Or even taking into account that Nifong himself opined, following the ethics committee findings, that he should be disbarred (this was earlier, before the announcement of the sanction).

The only possibly good thing to come out of Nifong's (relatively) brief, if certainly intense, dance upon the public stage will be if the next prosecutor with a similar jerking knee and opportunistic, if not pandering, heart takes a few deep breaths, clears his mind and puts his professional ethics ahead of his personal ambitions and/or biases.

But really, how likely is that, I ask you?

[Added at the ****: The emphasis in that second sentence is on the self-serving, alleged "inexperience" part, not the media part. Do I have a problem with the latter with regard to this case? Oh, yeah, OH, yeah, I do. And that's not all, in terms of various institutions & etc., not by a long shot. But this post's focus is what it is,{added within the add: on where the buck stops --and starts!--in terms of a responsibility for "the rule of law." If there's no respect there, where else is it to be found?}]

2nd add: FEH! Got interrupted, way too often, in trying to update for clarity and for indicating edits. That's my life, just now. If there's a misplaced [ or {, so be it. I think my meaning's clear, and consistent, and I'll stand by it, and so be it.

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