Too little, too late, Mr. Nifong. From here it sure seems like you’re only sorry you’ll be disbarred. I’m only sorry you’re not in jail.
RALEIGH, North Carolina (AP) — Facing the loss of his law license, a tearful Mike Nifong said Friday he will resign as district attorney, more than a year after he obtained rape indictments against three Duke University lacrosse players who were later declared innocent by state prosecutors.
“My community has suffered enough,” Nifong said from the witness stand at his ethics trial on allegations that he violated rules of professional conduct in his handling of the case.
The North Carolina State Bar said Nifong withheld DNA test results from the players’ defense attorneys, lied to the court and bar investigators, and made misleading and inflammatory comments about the three athletes, who were cleared of charges they raped a stripper at a team party in March 2006.
Nifong said he did not make all the mistakes alleged by the bar, “but they are my mistakes.”
“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,” Nifong said.
More below the fold.
Earlier Friday, Nifong acknowledged that he “maybe got carried away a little bit” in talking about the three lacrosse players who were once charged with raping a stripper, and he said he expected to be punished by the state bar.
“I think clearly some of the statements I made were improper,” he testified Friday at the trial.
The now former lacrosse players were cleared after the state attorney general, who concluded they were “innocent” victims of a rogue prosecutor’s “tragic rush to accuse.”
On the stand Friday, Nifong said, “The comment about race was not a comment that should have been made.”
If Nifong is convicted of lying and withholding the test results, the bar’s disciplinary committee could strip him of his license to practice law in North Carolina. He said of the DNA evidence Friday, “Whether we feel it is exculpatory or not, I’m not denying they were entitled to have that evidence.”
The article goes on to interview Reade Seligmann, and review the case a bit, and is worth a read.