Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Duke Case to Be Dropped? Yep, Like a Hot Iron

It is being widely reported this morning that charges in the Duke Lacrosse case will be dropped this afternoon. Given that that paragon of accurate reporting, Fox News, has been saying that the case will be dropped ‘imminently’ for several weeks now, I will believe it when I see it. Hopefully one of the most publicized recent cases of egregious investigatory and prosecutorial misconduct can be put behind us, pending, of course, the possible disbarment of Mike Nifong. Hopefully as well, this whole incident will serve as a warning to student-athletes of the knock-on consequences of disgusting, but apparently not criminal behavior.
Check out the breathtaking statement by North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper:

. . . .
The result of our review and investigation shows clearly that
there is insufficient evidence to proceed on any of the charges. Today we are filing notices of dismissal for all charges against Reade Seligmann, Collin
Finnerty and David Evans.

The result is that these cases are over, and no more criminal
proceedings will occur.

We believe that these cases were the result of a tragic rush to accuse and
a failure to verify serious allegations. Based on the significant
inconsistencies between the evidence and the various accounts given by the
accusing witness, we believe these three individuals are innocent of these
charges. . . .

In this case, with the weight of the state behind him, the Durham district
attorney pushed forward unchecked. There were many points in the case where caution would have served justice better than bravado. . . .

Therefore, I propose a law that the North Carolina Supreme Court have the
authority to remove a case from a prosecutor in limited circumstances. This
would give the courts a new tool to deal with a prosecutor who needs to step
away from a case where justice demands. . . .

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