this is what happens when democrats try to steal votes...people smell the donkee doo-doo
Nifong is disbarred
Penalty is fair, says prosecutor in Duke lacrosse case
Nifong will be disbarred for his disastrous prosecution of three Duke University lacrosse players falsely accused of rape, a disciplinary committee decided Saturday.
North Carolina State Bar
Ruling praised in legal circles
How The Duke Rape Case Unfolded
RALEIGH --A disciplinary committee on Saturday disbarred disgraced prosecutor Mike Nifong for his disastrous prosecution of three Duke University lacrosse players falsely accused of rape -- a punishment Nifong said is appropriate.
Nifong sat motionless, one hand over his mouth, as committee chairman Lane Williamson recounted how Nifong engaged in deceitful conduct. He said Nifong's early comments about the case were designed to boost his campaign for district attorney.
"...We can draw no other conclusion (than) that those initial statements he made were to further his political ambitions," Williamson said.
Nifong will not appeal the punishment, his lawyer said. "He hopes this helps restore some of the confidence in the criminal justice system of North Carolina," said David Freedman.
"On one hand, it's very devastating. On the other hand, he's been going through this process for a long time, so you always have some semblance of relief when the process is over with, regardless of the outcome."
It's the first time an N.C. prosecutor has been disbarred for courtroom cheating. Nifong will not be able to practice in North Carolina for at least five years.
The N.C. State Bar had charged Nifong with making misleading statements and inflammatory comments about the three athletes, lying to the court and bar investigators, and withholding critical DNA test results from the players' lawyers.
The committee, after deliberating Saturday afternoon for just over an hour, unanimously agreed with the bar on almost every charge, finding Nifong's actions involved "dishonesty, fraud, deceit and misrepresentation."
"The case we have here is a clear case of intentional prosecutorial misconduct," Williamson said.
While Nifong's late offer to surrender his law license came as a surprise, the verdicts were not. Nifong acknowledged Friday that he was likely to be punished for maybe getting "carried away a little bit" when talking about the case, admitting that some of his comments were improper.
Williamson also hinted during closing arguments the three-member panel would conclude that Nifong kept from the defense DNA test results that found genetic material from several males in the accuser's underwear and body, but none from any lacrosse player.
"How can you possibly explain that away?" Williamson said.
"It wasn't just one little oversight," he said later. "This was conduct over an extended period in a very high-profile case."
Aware of those test results, Nifong pressed ahead with the case and won indictments against Dave Evans, Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty. State prosecutors later concluded that the three players were "innocent" victims of a rogue prosecutor's "tragic rush to accuse."
Nifong's attorneys admitted Saturday their client made "multiple, egregious mistakes" as he pursued allegations a stripper was raped at a March 2006 party thrown by Duke's lacrosse team. But they said no mistakes were made intentionally.
"It didn't click," Nifong's attorney, Dudley Witt, said as he tried to explain one of Nifong's errors. "His mind is just his mind. That's the way it works. It just didn't click."
Nifong's offer to resign and give up his law license isn't likely to end his troubles. The players' attorneys have pledged to seek criminal contempt charges in coming days in Durham.
Though Williamson cited Nifong's often outlandish comments -- he once called the lacrosse team "a bunch of hooligans" -- his failure to turn over all DNA evidence was the most serious of the bar's allegations.
Nifong gave defense attorneys an initial report on the DNA testing in May 2006 that said private lab DNA Security had been unable to find a conclusive match between the accuser and any lacrosse players. But lab director Brian Meehan testified last week that he told Nifong as early as April 10, 2006 -- a week before Seligmann and Finnerty were indicted -- about the full results.
Nifong testified that when he gave the defense the initial report, he "believed at the time that I had given them everything." In court documents and hearings in May, June and September, he told two different judges that he had no more evidence that could be helpful to the defense. He said he didn't realize until months later that the additional DNA information was missing.
"My first reaction was a variation of `oh, crap,' " Nifong said. " `I didn't give them this?' "
That argument didn't sway the committee.
"He knew. He admits he knew," Williamson said. "How could he not know if he had read it? How could he not know?"http://www.postchronicle.com/commentary/article_21286838.shtml