Skip to comments.Coman may be no prize (Duke Rape Hoax)
Posted on 01/19/2007 8:45:09 AM PST by freespirited
Chill, homes. Before y'all start the victory dance over the fact that Mike Nifong is no longer prosecuting the Duke lacrosse sexual assault case, it's important to look at who is prosecuting it.
Supporters of the Duke Three seemed on the verge of doing a celebratory Electric Slide in front of Duke Chapel upon hearing that Attorney General Roy Cooper had picked James Coman and Mary Winstead to take over the case.
Pardon me, but isn't this the same Attorney General's Office that has overseen such judicial travesties as the Alan Gell case?
In the Gell case, Coman was brought in as a special prosecutor and gamely argued the same case in 2004 as David Hoke and Debra Graves had at the initial murder trial in 1998. When Coman had to try the case by the rules, a constraint Hoke and Graves ignored, Gell went free.
Had N&O reporter Joseph Neff not investigated the case, Gell would probably be ordering up some Nabs and a Coca-Cola -- or whatever low-brow repast inmates typically choose for a last meal at Central Prison -- and preparing to take the state-sponsored dirt nap. As it was, he spent nine years in prison.
I asked Joseph B. Cheshire V, Gell's attorney in the 2004 retrial who now represents Dukie Dave Evans, how he feels about facing Coman again.
"I'm very comfortable with Jim Coman," he said. "I've tried many cases with him. He's tough and he's gruff, and I don't always agree with him, but he's always been professional. ... The Gell case and this one are different. In that one, he was confronted with the fact that [evidence of innocence] was withheld by the previous DA."
Eliciting sympathy for Nifong ranks in difficulty up there with trying to raise money -- at Fort Bragg -- for Osama bin Laden.
Sure, it appears likely that he has committed enough misdeeds in the lacrosse case -- possibly withholding evidence, making prejudicial statements -- to justify punishment.
You've got to feel, though, that he might have to pay for the sins of other misbehavin', underpunished prosecutors.
For instance, after it was determined that prosecutors Hoke and Graves had withheld evidence that Gell was innocent -- they knew the dude was in jail at the time of the murder -- the State Bar meted out a reprimand. Ouch.
Then, when former Union County District Attorney Ken Honeycutt and former assistant Scott Brewer were charged by the Bar with such serious judicial no-no's as lying to a judge, the Bar's disciplinary committee tossed the charges because -- get this -- the statute of limitations had expired and because of a record-keeping error. Yikes.
The Bar has charged Nifong with misconduct, an unprecedented charge that is almost laughable when you consider how the bar typically handles misbehavin' prosecutors.
While you might be tempted to give Coman a pass for being a good soldier and arguing a dog of a case regarding Gell, he deserves no slack for what he did when Hoke and Graves were hauled before the State Bar's disciplinary committee: Coman argued that they'd done nothing wrong and that he would have withheld the evidence, too.
Knowing that Coman is loyal to his colleagues is admirable; knowing that he is loyal to the law would be even more so.
Coman and Winstead are about the last two I would want to be investigating Nifong, since they can be expected to protect him at the expense of justice, if we can judge by their past performance.
Coman may be cursing the day Nifong was born.
".......the last two I would want to be investigating Nifong,"
I didn't read that they are investigating Nifong, but that they are taking over the prosecution's case against Finnerty, Evans and Seligman.
. . . and how exactly is that different from what's going on here?
Methinks the defense attorney is firing a warning shot here . . . in a very subtle way.
um, didn't we discuss this LAST WEEK?
Where are you?
He will take the case to trial unless there is a change in venue. Then all bets are off.
Stuck in traffic where I-75 and I-85 meet in Atlanta!!!!
There can't be a trial without putting "Precious" on the witness stand. I just can't see Coman being that stupid.
No one here should be surprised when Precious Mangum is reported DOA from a drug/alcohol overdose.
She has been subpoenaed to appear in Court on Feb. 5th. If that date still holds, which I doubt, that may be the end of the case.
I wouldn't wish that on anyone. I'll bet she enters rehab before everything else hits the fan.
It's a warm 55 in Destin....lol. I am so jealous!
Yes, we certainly DID just discuss this. We beat the MSM by miles. LOL
I'll be in Destin in a couple of weeks. Hope it gets a little bit warmer than that.
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