As is now well-known, Durham prosecutor Mike Nifong falsely accused three white Duke lacrosse players of gang-raping a stripper, even as evidence piled up proving it never happened. In the weeks after an unstable stripper -- or, since this is not a Hollywood movie, "a stripper" -- accused the players of rape, Nifong stated on national TV: "I am convinced that there was a rape." He called the players "hooligans," contemptuously sneering that their "daddies could buy them expensive lawyers."
Envy is an emotion well-known for producing model behavior.
Revealing his own motives, Nifong said defense attorneys for the non-indicted players "were almost disappointed that their clients didn't get indicted so they could be a part of this spectacle here in Durham." Hello, Vanity Fair? Did you see where I talked about their "daddies"?
I have been told by several attorneys that prosecutors in North Carolina have been granted almost godlike authority in pursuing a case. Couple that with the fact that the only crime for which Nifong can be charged is contempt of court, and you have a situation that should worry any freedom-loving people. When you combine the Democrats' tendencies to centralize power and authority and the Republicans' tendency to blindly adore anything that looks like law-and-order, the result is a dangerous combination of tyranny and police-state achieved through bad legislation.
North Carolina needs to take a hard look at the independence and authority it grants to its attorneys. That Nifong was a rogue prosecutor and completely out of control was obvious to most of us early on in the process. The fact that there was no apparatus in place to step in and slap him down before he dragged the county and the state through the mire of a willfully false prosecution should be worrisome to everyone living in this state.