Prosecutorial Misconduct

A Case of Prosecutorial Misconduct

The Duke Lacrosse case began in March 2006 when a woman hired to strip at a team fraternity party accused three Duke University students of attacking her in a bathroom. The three students (members of the Duke Blue Devils men’s lacrosse team) were charged with first degree sexual offense, kidnapping, and rape. Durham District Attorney, Mike Nifong, stated publicly that a rape had taken place and prosecuted the three students even when the case fell apart because of a lack of evidence and the accuser changing her story repeatedly.

In January 2007, Mike Nifong, facing ethics charges, asked the state attorney general’s office to appoint a special prosecutor to take over the case. North Carolina Attorney, General Roy Cooper, agreed to take over the case. Later in January, the North Carolina State Bar Association amended its ethics complaint against Nifong, accusing him of withholding evidence from the defense and lying to both the court and the bar investigators. The bar’s three-member disciplinary panel unanimously found Nifong guilty of fraud, dishonesty, deceit, or misrepresentation; making false statements of material fact before a judge; making false statements of material fact before bar investigators; and lying about withholding exculpatory DNA evidence, among other violations.

Analyze and justify whether the coverage of the dismissal of the case was as prominent a story as the arrests.

Describe your overall reaction to the case and if you believe that Nifong received a fair judgment in the case


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