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.
The chairman of the committee, F. Lane Williamson, spent much time explaining both how grievous it was and how much damage was caused, by the wanton and willful disregard of the facts by Mr. Nifong, not to mention the fact that his lies and deceits affected the entire criminal justice system. One of the aggravating factors cited by Mr. Williamson was the low number of safeguards in place, in respect to prosecutors. Furthermore he said Mr. Nifong acted out of self-deceit, brought on by self-interest.
PYY has covered this case from the time it was apparent that the facts did not support the allegations, through the time that prosecutor misconduct was beginning to look evident, up until today.
To all those that rushed to judgment and then maintained the rush to judgment was justified despite the evidence, it would be wise to re-think that kind of knee-jerk reaction, in future cases. Granted, Mike Nifong bears the overwhelming weight of accountability, but there are others that are guilty of taking this to the level it reached.
All of those that looked at this case and used their positions to further advance this gross miscarriage of justice, not based on the evidence but solely on the allegations, need to suffer some kind of penalty as well. They include but are not limited to the following:
The 88 Duke professors that took out a full-page ad, before all of the facts were known.
Malik Zulu Shabazz of The New Black Panther Militia
The National Organization for Women
All Assistant DA's that worked under Mike Nifong and had knowledge of this case.
There are more, to be sure. But you probably will not hear much from them, except weak and feeble excuses, added to double talk and justifications. If any had the first bit of integrity they would apologize as loudly and publicly, as they cried wolf alongside the accuser. All of them played an integral part and all will no doubt be looked at closer, as the days move onward. There are criminal and civil cases to be considered, and the logical next step (in my estimation) would be for the State Bar to look at those within the DA's office. Then, all other agencies should look at the others, as the circumstances warrant.
Duke University should reprimand those 88 professors and look at all of their policies that pertain to this kind of case, for all subsequent and future cases.
But again, if anyone that used their positions to further advance the lies and deceits which were being used to advance a false story had an ounce of moral fortitude, they would come clean and admit the error of their ways. But, as I fully suspect, the silence will remain deafening.