Monday, June 18, 2007 at 11:04 AM
During his testimony, however, he shocked everyone, including his lawyer, by blubbering out the announcement that he was resigning as Durham County District Attorney because:
My community has suffered enough…It has become increasingly apparent, during the course of this week, in some ways that it might not have been before, that my presence as the district attorney in Durham is not furthering the cause of justice.
Not surprisingly, the three members of the North Carolina Star Bar disciplinary panel saw Nifong’s belated-concession as nothing more than a vain, inconsequential and patently-contrived attempt to manipulate their findings. Accordingly they found that he:
…manipulated the investigation [of three (white) players for allegedly raping a (black) stripper] to boost his chances of winning his first election for Durham County district attorney. In doing so, he committed a clear case of intentional prosecutorial misconduct that involved “dishonesty, fraud, deceit and misrepresentation.
[F. Lane Williamson, Chairman of the N.C. State Bar Disciplinary Hearing Committee]
…innocent victims of Nifong’s tragic rush to accuse.
However, based on chats with friends over the weekend about his fate, I feel obliged to disabuse you of any undue sympathy you may feel for Nifong. After all, this is a man who wilfully withheld exculpatory DNA evidence and was prepared to throw three young men in prison on a rape charge that the world now knows that he knew was bogus from day one – notwithstanding his disingenuous and fatuous claim that this obvious fact only became apparent to him last week.
Even worse, after wasting state resources to persecute these students (and forcing them to waste millions of dollars defending themselves), Nifong still could not bring himself to admit that he was dead wrong. Because when Chairman Williamson asked him, with manifest indignation, exasperation and contempt, if he still believes the accuser he followed so merrily down a primrose path to career suicide, Nifong responded with reflective conviction:
I don’t think any of us are done with Mr. Nifong yet.
Therefore, here’s to Nifong not only being disbarred but also losing his life savings. (Of course, he may even lose his freedom after he’s convicted on charges of obstruction of justice, which I fully expect to be filed in due course.)
Meanwhile, I hope the millions these wrongly-accused players will collect in civil damages from the state and Duke University will help assuage the emotional distress they and their families have suffered as a result of this legal “fiasco”.
UPDATE 3:15 pm EST:
According to one of my reliable readers over in America, CNN is reporting that Duke has reached a financial settlement with the three lacrosse players – to compensate for presuming them guilty and then effectively expelling them. Of course, I suspect the amounts shall remain confidential. But I have no doubt that they got enough from Duke to cover their legal bills…and then some. How ‘bout that?!
Now, on to the Nifong and the N.C. state treasury, which will have to indemnify his liabilities….
Rape charges against Duke Lacrosse players dropped