Posted Sept. 10, 2007 – Dethroned Durham County DA Mike Nifong, following his latest lesson in messing with the freedom of well-to-do White victims, left behind the jail cell he called home for the past 24 hours.
Waiting for him when he walked outside was a small crowd of supporters – African Americans and others – who felt like the White former DA had been railroaded because he took the unusual step to believe a Black accuser over White alleged perpetrators.
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Nifong’s sentence was his most recent public flogging after being charged with lying to the court about DNA evidence that defense attorneys argued could have exonerated their three clients in the infamous 2006 Duke University rape case much earlier.
To advance his own political career, the defense team argued, Nifong made a decision to prosecute the members of the Duke Lacrosse Team for allegedly raping a Black exotic dancer, even though he knew the defendants were innocent. The county prosecutor won the indictments, which ultimately were thrown out by state prosecutors, who said the players were innocent victims of a "tragic rush to accuse."
In June, the North Carolina State Bar Association disbarred Nifong, saying he violated more than two dozen rules of professional conduct. Under pressure, he resigned as district attorney in July.
Last week, Superior Court Judge W. Osmond Smith III sentenced Nifong to 24 hours in jail for lying to the court a year ago.
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