Is Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong looking at additional charges even as he recused himself from the Duke case? Bullwinkle notes that the problems at the prosecutor's office and DNA lab could affect every prosecution case that both worked on. You think there's trouble now. Just wait till every other defense lawyer in Durham gets their hands on the case files.
The families of the three Duke students went postal on Nifong in their interview with 60 Minutes. Not that one can't understand where they're coming from. They saw their kids smeared by Nifong, the University, and the media without so much as a shred of evidence.
Disbarment is the least of Nifong's worries. Jeff Goldstein coins a new word to sum up how he feels. Allah has a simpler word choice.
Gross abuse of prosecutorial power. That's how Irish Pennants puts it.
The accuser picked the three defendants from a photo lineup consisting only of lacrosse players, a violation of police procedures. (Clearly innocent people are supposed to be mixed in with suspects.)He's right, and it extends beyond this case. The Duke case merely shines a light on how much power a prosecutor has in the lives of people that come under even the slightest bit of scrutiny.
The players she selected did not match the description of the alleged attackers the accuser had given police earlier. Two of the accused had alibis.
The only evidence against the lacrosse players is the testimony of the accuser, who was inebriated at the time of the alleged assault, and who has changed her story in significant ways on multiple occasions.
DNA from five men was found on the accuser, but none of it belonged to the three defendants. Mr. Nifong knew this before he indicted the trio. He and Brian Meehan, the director of the lab where the DNA testing took place, concealed the exculpatory test result from defense attorneys, a violation of procedure and perhaps of the law.
The case has drawn national attention because the accuser is black, and the accused are white males.
If a prosecutor violates his ethical and legal obligations, it spells bad news for the defendants, many of whom are not able to afford the kind of legal protections that the Duke defendants got. Prosecutorial misconduct undermines the criminal justice system and the constitutional rights for all.
Labels: crimes and misdemeanors, Duke non-rape case, law, mike nifong