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Judge Tjoflat on Abandoning Nifong's Ship

Federal Judge Gerald Tjoflat offers some keen observations on the Duke lacrosse scandal.  Among them:

Why did state DA’s ultimately abandon Nifong? Tjoflat doubts that altruism explained their actions. Instead, the December 15 hearing, with Meehan’s revelation of the conspiracy, “was too much for the N.C. Bar and the prosecutors around the state to tolerate.” Tjoflat surmised that “prosecutors, faced with a growing sentiment in the state legislature to establish a mechanism for monitoring prosecutorial conduct, got word to Nifong that he was now on his own. They had to maintain the status quo. The superior court belonged to them. After all, most of its judges were former prosecutors and, therefore, sympathetic to them. But, however they may have made their thoughts known to Nifong, he was not about to budge. He had one of his investigators re-interview the accuser," dropped the rape charge, but “proceeded full steam ahead with the kidnapping and assault charges.” Only at that point, the North Carolina Conference of DA’s abandoned him ...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who realizes that prosecutors did not oppose Nifong because they "seek justice."  Rather, they opposed him because in so doing, they were able to escape any meaningful reform on prosecutorial misconduct.  Even though, as Mike Nifong proved, even demonstrably innocent people can be indicted, no meaningful criminal justice reforms will follow the Duke scandal.  Nothing will change.  And that, sadly, is exactly what prosecutors want.

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