Exonerated Duke Defendant: D.A. Should Resign

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One of three former Duke lacrosse players declared earlier this week to be innocent of accusations of having raped a stripper at a team party is calling for the resignation of the Durham, N.C., district attorney who initially handled the prosecution.

Colin Finnerty, through his lawyer, has asked state officials to insist that prosecutor Michael Nifong resign and to appoint a special prosecutor to begin a criminal investigation of the conduct of Nifong and several city police officers, reports Long Island’s Newsday.

“Incredibly, Mr. Nifong continues in office as the chief law enforcement officer in Durham County, making life-altering decisions about who should be the subject of prosecution and handling the most sensitive and important cases,” wrote Michael Cornacchia, Finnerty’s New York City-based attorney, in a Tuesday letter to North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley and Attorney General Roy Cooper.

Cooper, who declared all three players innocent at a press conference last week, criticized at that time in scathing terms Nifong’s rush to prosecution and suggested that a criminal investigation might be appropriate. A North Carolina bar association ethics investigation of Nifong is reportedly already underway.

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