2.02.2007

Michael, Michael, Michael

Oh, to be Durham D.A. Mike Nifong. It's not enough that the NC bar has filed ethics charges against you, but they have now amended said charges, beefing up the complaint to a startling 33-page opus that seems almost guaranteed to end Mr. N's political career, if not his legal career in its entirety. I believe someone forgot to look up hubris when he embarked on this travesty of a prosecution.

Earlier, the bar had accused Nifong of violating a code of professional
conduct that prohibits attorneys from making improper pretrial public
statements, citing dozens of interviews in the news media shortly after the
case became public last spring. (Note the characterization of "became public" as if the whole thing weren't turned into the media circus that it was by design of the prosecutor himself).

And as if that weren't bad enough, the amended complaint filed January 23 accuses Nifong of withholding evidence from defense attorneys and making false statements to the judge, the lawyers and the bar's grievance committee.

Furthermore (this bit's from the Washington Post):

The counts of failing to turn over evidence stem from the prosecutor's agreement with the director of a private laboratory to include only test
results of DNA found on the accuser that directly matched any of the lacrosse players. Matches from multiple males were found in the accuser's vagina and underwear -- none from the defendants -- but that information was not included in a report given to the defense.

The NC state bar complaint notes that on May 17 defense attorneys asked that expert witnesses prepare and hand over "a report of the results of any (not only the ones about which the expert expects to testify) examinations or tests conducted by the expert." The next day, Nifong gave them a copy of the DNA lab report, but it omitted information about DNA from other males and did not include any documentation.
At a Dec. 15 hearing on the lacrosse case, Nifong told a judge that he was unaware of the potentially exculpatory DNA test results -- which the bar complaint said was a "false statement of material fact to a tribunal."

Please note that when the head of the lab (which is itself currently under investigation by the state board that gives such labs accreditation) was interviewed on 60 Minutes a couple of weeks ago, he specifically said he went to a meeting in Nifong's office, at Nifong's request, with the results showing NO DNA from any of the accused men, and AGREED TO KEEP THAT INFORMATION OUT OF THE REPORT, at the district attorney's instruction. I don't mind telling you I was shocked speechless by that.

Seriously? I think Nifong should be prosecuted, not by the State Bar, but by the state Attorney General, and I think he should serve jail time for fraud, evidence tampering, witness coercion, and whatever else they can get to stick. This guy is a Southern-fried piece of shit.

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