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Nifong Wants All Charges Against Him Dropped

From ABC News:

Duke DA Answers Critics: Denies Unethical Conduct, Wants Some Charges Dropped

Durham County DA Mike Nifong Files a Formal Response to Bar Association Charges of Misconduct

DURHAM, N.C., Feb. 28, 2007— Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong has filed his response to allegations by the North Carolina Bar Association that he acted unethically in his handling of the Duke lacrosse team case.

In the document, released Wednesday afternoon, Nifong systematically denied all the charges against him and struck back, calling for many of them to be dismissed.

In the document, which is Nifong’s first complete and official response to the bar association’s charges, he addresses allegations that he violated any rules of professional conduct. A complaint filed by the North Carolina Bar Association accused Nifong of violating at least a dozen of those rules by allegedly withholding possible exculpatory DNA evidence from the defense, making misleading statements before a judge, and making inappropriate comments about the case in a series of press interviews…

Nifong did in fact provide the [Duke Lacrosse defendants], through discovery, a report of the results of all tests and examinations,” the response said.

Attorneys for Nifong argue that because there was no trial ongoing at the time — no trial date had even been set — the due process rights of the Duke lacrosse players were not violated by the alleged withholding of DNA evidence.

“Unless the omission deprived the defendant of a fair trial, there was no constitutional violation … no breach of the prosecutor’s constitutional duty to disclose,” the response said…

When it comes to his interviews with local and national media outlets, Nifong’s attorneys argued that if the prosecutor was guilty of anything, it was inexperience. Finding himself in the middle of the Duke lacrosse case while running a primary election campaign for district attorney, Nifong was a political novice with no experience handling high-profile national cases.

He didn’t realize, lawyers argued, that the Duke lacrosse case would become a press spectacle. Once the media’s intense interest in the case became clear, they said, he stopped giving interviews and restricted his comments to printed releases and a handful of candidate forums…

Sources close to Nifong said the Duke lacrosse case and the charges of unethical conduct have taken an enormous personal toll on the embattled prosecutor.

They said Nifong’s teenage son is heckled at school, his office gets hate mail from around the country, and he has been aggressively pursued by the press. Cameras recently ambushed him as he was stepping out of his house in a bathrobe; the footage later appeared on Fox News.

A source working in Nifong’s office said things have been “business as usual” at his workplace, but that he is “clearly holding up a wall” as he tries to keep a smile on his face.

To blow off steam, Nifong plays music in his office — he is known to shut his door and blast bluegrass music on particularly bad days.

“One thing that hurts him is that he’s being portrayed as not being fair,” Nifong’s friend Bob Nauseef told ABC News. Nauseef has been asked by Nifong to serve as a potential character witness in the ethics case.

I think of all things during this whole process, I think he feels like that he has been as fair as he could be,” Nauseef said.

“He’s devastated,” Nifong attorney David Freedman told “Good Morning America” several weeks ago. “It’s very upsetting to be attacked. … It’s like he’s public enemy No. 1.”

Freedman added, however, that given the chance, Nifong would bring the charges again

I have asked him if he would do it all over again. … He said yes, because he believes that indeed that this [crime] occurred. He may regret some of the things he may have said. [But] I don’t think he would have changed his mind about the charges.” …

Funny how quick Mr. Nifong is in asking for charges against him to be dropped.

I have asked him if he would do it all over again. … He said yes, because he believes that indeed that this [crime] occurred.

Nifogn is clearly going for an insanity plea.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, March 1st, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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