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Friday, January 12, 2007

Nifong Exits Duke Case

Discussions of Nifong requesting NC AG to take case:

LieStoppers: Greta - On the Record - 1/12/07
FreeRepublic: Nifong recusing himself from Duke Kidnapping and Sexual Assault case
TalkLeft: Nifong Asked to Be Removed From Case
KC Johnson: Nifong is Off the Case (see comments)
Court TV: Nifong asking to be replaced!!!
ABC11 TV/WTVD: Nifong asking to be replaced
Duke Chronicle: Nifong wants off
Friends of Duke University: Nifong asks to be taken off case
Today's Big News Roundup:

Mike Nifong asks NC AG to be recusedNews & Observer:
Nifong asks to be removed from case — The immediate future for Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong does not seem bright. Misstatements and mounting criticism on his handling of the Duke lacrosse rape case may cost him his career.... In December, the Bar charged Nifong with violating ethics rules during numerous media interviews he gave shortly after an escort service dancer alleged that she was sexually assaulted at a lacrosse team party.

It is unprecedented for the Bar to charge a prosecutor during an ongoing criminal case.

Penalties range from disbarrment to losing his license for up to five years.

A preliminary hearing on those charges is set for Jan. 24 at the Bar offices in Raleigh....
Duff Wilson, NY Times:
Prosecutor Asks State to Take Over Duke Case — If the attorney general’s office agrees to take the case, it will remove a prosecutor who has been a lightning rod for criticism. The district attorney’s request also indicates that the accuser still wants to press ahead with the case...

Mr. Nifong made the decision following lengthy conversations with the accuser in his courthouse office Thursday and again today, according to the official involved in the case.

Mr. Nifong had planned to recuse himself since shortly after the North Carolina State Bar filed an ethics complaint against him on Dec. 26, because that put him in a conflict of interest between defending his actions and prosecuting the case, the official said. But he had not been able to talk with the accuser about that because she had been in precarious health at the end of a pregnancy, the official said. The woman gave birth Jan. 3...

LieStoppers: The Accuser CGM is Evil, Willing Accomplice in "Frame-up" - someone who intentionally inflicts pain on other people for personal gain is evil.
Quotes from lawyers and experts in the Duke lacrosse case — "If (North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper) accepts it then they would transfer the files over, and they would probably have a lot of interviews to do. It would probably stop things for a while, I imagine." — Peg Dorer, director of the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys.

Duke Officials Happy Nifong Wishes to Be Removed — John F. Burness, senior vice president for public affairs and government relations at Duke University, issued the following statement in response to Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong sending a letter to the state attorney general, asking to be recused from the Duke lacrosse case.
"We welcome the news that the district attorney has asked to be removed from this case. As President Brodhead has emphasized, this matter needs to be placed in the hands of an independent party who can restore confidence in the fairness and integrity of the legal process. We hope this change will lead to a fair and speedy resolution of this case."
Nifong asks to be taken off Duke lacrosse case — Nifong’s attorney insisted the veteran prosecutor was not running from a weak case and said Nifong was disappointed he would not take it to trial.

“He feels, as a result of the accusations against him, that he would be a distraction and he wants to make sure the accuser receives a fair trial,” attorney David Freedman told The Associated Press. “He still believes in the case. He just believes his continued presence would hurt her.”

Nifong Asks for Special Prosecutor in Duke Lacrosse Case — Noelle Talley, a spokeswoman for North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, said Friday in an e-mail that Nifong had sent a letter to Cooper's office with the request. Nifong, leaving his office at the Durham Courthouse, had no comment on the case Friday evening and when asked if he had recused himself from the case, made the following statement:

"I am not talking about the case or anything. Ya'll have sources. You need to talk to those sources."

What impact Friday's move might have on the case was not immediately clear. Under North Carolina law, only a district attorney can formally request a special prosecutor...

Lara Setrakian, ABC News:
EXCLUSIVE: DA in Duke Rape Case Asks to be Taken off Case — After Weeks of Criticism, District Attorney Mike Nifong Asked to Be Recused - District Attorney Mike Nifong has requested that he have himself removed from prosecuting the Duke Lacrosse rape investigation, ABC News has learned.

A source close to the investigation said Nifong sent a letter to North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper asking his office to assume responsibility of the case. Calls to the Attorney General's office and Mike Nifong's office were not yet returned.

Three Duke Lacrosse players, Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty, and David Evans were indicted in 2006 on charges of rape, sexual assault, and kidnapping.

The rape charges were dropped in December after the accuser could not recall key details of the alleged attack.
Exit Strategy:
Exit Strategy