Saturday, June 16, 2007

Nifong Goes Down


UPDATED AT BOTTOM OF POST

I have refrained from commenting on this case though because I tend to only concentrate on issues which I consider to have international importance. But, I must say, I am very happy to see that justice has been served:

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - District Attorney Mike Nifong will be disbarred
for his disastrous prosecution of three Duke University lacrosse players falsely
accused of rape, a disciplinary committee decided Saturday. Even the veteran
prosecutor said the punishment was appropriate.


"This matter has been a fiasco. There's no doubt about it," said
committee chairman F. Lane Williamson.


Nifong sat motionless, one hand resting over his mouth, as
Williamson recounted how he engaged in dishonest and deceitful conduct. He said
Nifong's early comments about the case—which included a confident proclamation
that he wouldn't allow Durham to become known for "a bunch of lacrosse players
from Duke raping a black girl"—were purposefully designed to boost his campaign
for district attorney.


"At the time he was facing a primary, and yes, he was politically
naive," Williamson said. "But we can draw no other conclusion that those initial
statements he made were to further his political ambitions."


Nifong will not appeal the punishment, his lawyer said.

Nifong should probably have to serve time in prison as well, but I never expected even a disbarrment. Good deal.

The man is a disgrace, and I hope he is treated as a disgrace wherever he goes from now on.

He ought to have no more opportunities in any positions of power. If he wants to redeem himself by serving, well then, great. But, I really hope everyone has the sense to treat this man as the pariah he is.


Punditarian put up this post at Astute Bloggers:


The prosecutor, Mike Nifong, is a thoroughly dishonorable fellow. You can't blame him, really, for seizing his main chance and perverting every principle of prosecutorial ethics, because he only did it for personal gain. He was acquainted with Crystal Mangum and her family from a previous case, and seized upon her accusations just when the Durham Police were about to conclude, based on pending DNA evidence, that there was nothing to do.

Nifong was motivated primarily by ambition and greed. He is honestly corrupt, and didn't see anything wrong in destroying 3 innocent lives so that he could portray himself as the champion of the poor, the downtrodden, and the African-American, thus positioning himself to garner the slim margin he needed in order to be elected District Attorney and magnify his pension. To achieve his goal, Nifong set up improper and irregular interviews with the accuser, pilloried his 3 innocent victims in biased and misleading press briefings, and concealed and misrepresented critical DNA evidence.

The North Carolina State Bar Association's brief against him is entirely damning, and the State Attorney General's dismissal of all charges against the Lacrosse players, and his characterization of Nifong's zealous prosecution, used unprecedented language in lambasting Nifong for being just the sort of scoundrel he is. At a minimum, he will be disbarred for life. His conduct in this case was so outrageous that he is probably also liable for civil damages. I would not be surprised if he ends up behind bars, as well.

CNN reports that lawyers who represented the student athletes will indeed press for criminal charges against Mike Nifong:

After the hearing, attorneys for the exonerated lacrosse players said they would push for criminal charges against Nifong.

"I don't think that any of us are done with Mr. Nifong yet," said Jim Cooney, Seligmann's attorney.

No surprise there, when you consider that the State Bar upheld charges of "dishonesty, fraud, deceit, and misrepresentation."