The Washington Post today has an important, though overdue editorial calling for the prosecutor to drop all charges in the so-called Duke rape case. The Post details the feeble case and conduct of the prosecutor:
“It’s been clear for months that Mr. Nifong’s case — to the extent he has a case — is riddled with flaws that raise serious questions about his motives and ethics. The accuser’s story has been inconsistent and unreliable — and that was even before the latest interview with the prosecutor’s office, in which, according to his filing, she said she could no longer be certain she had been penetrated with a penis. The physical evidence was scant at best; the identification procedure — the woman was shown photographs of only Duke lacrosse players — was shockingly shoddy; one defendant seems to have an alibi.
“In recent weeks, Mr. Nifong has admitted that he failed, as required, to turn potentially exculpatory information over to the defense: test results that showed the presence of semen from several other men, but not the Duke players, in swabs taken from the woman’s body and clothing. Mr. Nifong says it was an accidental oversight. Yet the director of the DNA laboratory says that he and the prosecutor agreed to leave that information out of his report because it was so ‘explosive.’ If so, Mr. Nifong has a bigger problem than a botched prosecution. He should be subject to further ethics proceedings by state bar authorities, who filed charges Thursday against him for making inflammatory and misleading comments about the case in its early days.”
Let’s hope that justice is done, at least in the case of Mr. Nifong. He should be subject to all available disciplinary actions. Unfortunately, nothing can be done to bring justice to the true victims of this case: the defendants. Their names have been dragged through the mud; they have incurred substantial legal costs; and their lives have been forever changed not just by the accusations, but by the actions of this taxpayer-provided prosecutor who should have known better than to proceed with such a weak case.