Nifong Ethics Trial

This week was the tenth anniversary of the ethics hearing that culminated in Mike Nifong’s disbarment for ethical misconduct in the Duke lacrosse case.

On my twitter feed, I had posted some of the highlights, and reproduce them below:

Day One

Bar prosecutor Katherine Jean summarized the allegations:

Collin Finnerty’s lawyer, Wade Davis, recalled Nifong’s contempt when Kirk Osborn tried to outline Reade Seligmann’s alibi at an early hearing in the case:

In perhaps the most explosive testimony of the proceedings, DPD officer Ben Himan recounted his first meeting with Nifong, at which the DA acknowledged, with an expletive, the case’s weakness privately, even as he took the opposite approach in his pre-primary public comments:


Day Two

A taste of the testimony style of Dr. Meehan—labeled by the tribunal chair “Mr. Obfuscation”:

Dr. Meehan attempted to explain how his DNA might have wound up on the rape kit:


Day Three

Brad Bannon explained how he came to discover that Nifong had lied about exculpatory DNA evidence:

Bannon recalled an…unusual…conversation he had with Nifong, when the defense lawyers approached Nifong about his concealment. This conversation appeared in the draft version of William D. Cohan’s revisionist book defending Nifong, only to be deleted before the book went to press. Perhaps making this conversation look good for Nifong exceeded even Cohan’s skills as a propagandist:

Bannon explained why Nifong’s ethical misconduct made Roy Cooper’s innocence declaration so important. This section also

Day Four

Under questioning from State Bar prosecutor Doug Brocker, Nifong tried to claim all the lacrosse players weren’t really suspects, even though his office had obtained a court order saying precisely the reverse:

Tribunal chair Lane Williamson pressed Nifong on his stated “old-fashioned” desire to prosecute the case based solely on Crystal Mangum’s changing tales, ignoring the exculpatory DNA evidence:

On the stand, Nifong admitted that he didn’t read the letters or discovery requests that came in from the defense attorneys:

Sealing his fate, Nifong—without pointing to any evidence—claimed that “something” (nonsexual) happened:

Day Five

Lane Williamson was at his best, noting the apparent lack of an “ethical dimension” in Mike Nifong’s psyche:

Williamson pressed Nifong’s lawyer on why the DA seemed so disinterested in exculpatory evidence:

In an extemporaneous, wonderfully structured address, Williamson explained the rationale for the committee’s decision to find Nifong guilty:


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