Started by poiuyt, Aug 17, 2007, 02:33 AM
AUGUST 15--In a pathetic end to the Mike Nifong saga, the disgraced North Carolina prosecutor who handled the Duke rape investigation has turned in his law license, noting that he never framed or displayed the document because it had been damaged "by a puppy in her chewing stage." Additionally, in an August 7 letter to the North Carolina State Bar, Nifong noted that the law license also contained a misspelling of his middle name (which is Byron). A copy of Nifong's "the dog ate my law license" letter can be found below. Nifong was stripped of his license as a result of his unethical stewardship of the Duke probe, which resulted in felony charges being dropped against three students who had been charged with the sexual assault of a stripper who had performed at a March 2006 off-campus party attended by members of the school's lacrosse team. (1 page)But is the hatchet of widespread discrimination against men and their institutionalised civil violations to be burried with Niffong ONLY.
Mike Nifong has lost his law license and his seat as Durham County district attorney. And he could lose more than that in the months ahead. Criminal charges are possible, and civil lawsuits are a virtual certainty for the disgraced former attorney. Nifong, who brought charges against three Duke University lacrosse players, was disbarred Saturday for unethical conduct in his handling of the case. But attorneys for the falsely accused players say there's more in store, saying there are plans to file a motion this week asking Durham County Superior Court Judge Osmond Smith to consider additional punishment. Smith presided over pretrial hearings in the Duke lacrosse case. As part of its decision to revoke his license, the North Carolina Bar found Nifong guilty of lying to Smith about the existence of exculpatory DNA evidence, evidence that he had not handed over to the defense in a clear report. The players' attorneys say Nifong buried information about unidentified male DNA found on the accuser's body and clothing in hundreds of pages of raw data. In their motion defense, the attorneys plan to ask Smith for further sanctions against Nifong, punishment that could include fines and contempt of court. A ruling of contempt could come with jail time. Nifong could also face lawsuits from the exonerated players and their families. Joe Cheshire, an attorney for former Duke lacrosse captain David Evans, one of the three exonerated players, said he expects "excessive civil action" against Nifong. "Some people will take that as being mean-spirited and kicking somebody when they're down," Cheshire said Sunday to The Associated Press. "But we believe that this issue is enormously important and it carries significant precedent, and (the judge) ought to be the one to make that decision because it happened in his court." The families are seeking an independent investigation into Nifong's conduct -- an inquiry that could determine whether he committed any criminal violations in prosecuting the Duke players. Prosecutors are normally immune from criminal charges, but attorneys for the lacrosse players say Nifong went beyond his role as a prosecutor by actively investigating the case alongside the Durham Police Department.
Requests for a federal investigation have also been made by several members of Congress, including Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., and Rep. Tom Feeney, R-Fla. The lawmakers believe Nifong violated the players' constitutional rights to due process and a fair trial. Nifong accepted his punishment from the North Carolina Bar, saying that disbarment was an "appropriate" penalty for his actions and that he would waive any right to an appeal. Over the course of his five-day ethics hearing he admitted to making major mistakes during the case but said he did not do anything intentionally unethical. Instead, he cited his lack of experience with high-profile cases and said that he got "carried away" by the national press coverage the case. Matt Heck, president of the National District Attorneys Association, told ABC News that disbarment for conduct during a specific prosecution is "very, very rare.'' He added that his organization "agrees with the North Carolina State Bar committee, its decisions and its conclusions.'' Still, Heck said that Nifong is living "a prosecutor's worst nightmare -- to think of prosecuting and convicting an innocent person.'' Nifong's disbarment ended his three-decade run as a Durham County prosecutor and a lifelong career as a public servant. Nifong was a social worker before getting his law degree and worked as an assistant district attorney.As part of its decision, a Bar panel cited his years of service and lack of prior disciplinary issues as points in Nifong's favor. But ultimately the Bar found that there was no counterweight to Nifong's conduct on the Duke lacrosse case.
not enough!! he needs to do some hard time!
Requests for a federal investigation have also been made by several members of Congress, including Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., and Rep. Tom Feeney, R-Fla. The lawmakers believe Nifong violated the players' constitutional rights to due process and a fair trial.
This is only one side of the coin. Putting corrupt prosecutors in fear of losing their license to practice will only be so effective. I sure wish either prosecutors or legislatures would stand up and hold false accusers accountable.