The sad story of Michael Nifong looks like it is taking the final turn as he asks the North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper to have his office take over the prosecution of the remaining charges against the Duke lacrosse players. Combined with a scathing 60 Minutes episode that die to air on Sunday night, Nifong is in a terrible box after his ill conceived decisions on the case.
… spokeswoman for Roy Cooper, North Carolina’s attorney general, confirmed that the office had received Mr. Nifong’s request and said it would be discussed on Saturday. If Mr. Cooper agrees to review the case, it will remove a prosecutor who has become a lightning rod for fierce and unrelenting criticism.
Defense lawyers were jubilant, openly predicting that no prosecutor in the state would continue with a case that hangs almost entirely on the shifting accounts of the alleged victim, a stripper who claims she was assaulted after performing at a team party in March. The woman, who was consulted before Friday’s recusal, remained firm in her desire for the case to go forward against the three former lacrosse players, an official involved in the case said. via the NY Times
60 Minutes is airing a show exposing in the first person some of the mistakes that Nifong made in this case, including candid talks with Dr. Brian Meehan the forensic expert who did not disclose pertinent DNA evidence.
Meehan acknowledged that he has never omitted potentially exculpatory evidence before. “We haven’t done that before,” he tells Stahl. “In retrospect, I should have done a better job of conveying that information.”
Meehan has stated that he told the prosecutor, Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong, about the other DNA for the first time in mid-April. Later that same month, Nifong indicted three Duke lacrosse players. Meehan has also said in court proceedings that he and Nifong agreed before the evidence tests were completed that his report should be limited to positive matches between the accuser and the players at the team party where she says she was sexually assaulted last March. via 60 Minutes
Also in the interview Mary Ellen Finnerty, mother of Collin Finnerty, explicitly goes after Nifong for the pain they have inflicted on the family. It looks like she held nothing back.
It enraged Mary Ellen Finnerty, mother of Collin Finnerty, another indicted player. “I think [I felt] one of the strongest feelings of rage that I’ve had … I literally had to turn to my husband, because I was shaking from my head to my toe, and say, ‘Hold me down,’” recalls Finnerty. Adds Seligmann, “And we had to hold on to each other because when you sit there and put two and two together and realize that it was calculated … set up to make these boys appear to be guilty of something they didn’t do.”
When asked what they would say to Nifong if he were in the room, Rae Evans, the mother of indicted player David Evans, says, “I would say with a smile on my face, ‘Mr. Nifong, you’ve picked on the wrong families … and you will pay every day for the rest of your life.’” via 60 Minutes
The 60 Minutes Show will air at 8 pm Eastern on Sunday Night.
Maybe for DA Nifong’s next act, he will just resign. He has made a complete fiasco of the Duke Lacrosse case and now he bows out. Maybe a resignation of office is necessary as well.
I wish I could tell you that this case would be resolved quickly,” the attorney general, Roy A. Cooper, said at a news conference here on Saturday afternoon. “Since we have not been involved in the investigation or the prosecution of these cases, all of the information will be new to our office. Any case with such serious criminal charges requires a careful and deliberate review.”