Legal Ethics

Nifong in Contempt, Gets 1 Day in Jail

The disgraced former prosecutor responsible for filing unfounded rape charges against former members of the Duke University men’s lacrosse team was found in criminal contempt of court today and sentenced to one day in jail.

Former Durham County, N.C., District Attorney Mike Nifong’s decision to withhold DNA evidence from defense lawyers that potentially would have cleared the three defendants was an affront to the integrity of the criminal justice system, said Superior Court Judge W. Osmond Smith III. He ordered Nifong to report to jail Sept. 7, according to CNN.

The DNA evidence found on the stripper hired to perform at a team party who accused players of raping her did not match that of any of the 46 lacrosse team members, according to CNN. If this evidence were produced in discovery, it probably would have ended the case months before North Carolina’s attorney general declared the players innocent. As discussed in an post that day, he announced the dismissal of the charges on April 11, castigating Nifong for a “tragic rush to accuse.”

Nifong was disbarred in June over his handling of the case.

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