Shame, however, is not Nifong's alone. With hardly a scintilla of evidence, all too many, for whatever reasons, were unable to resist buying into a story of privileged white jocks degrading and sexually abusing a poor black stripper.
The case quickly catapulted into a national sensation. With the notoriety, Duke University, under pressure to act, unceremoniously dumped the lacrosse coach and two of the accused young men, and students and professors took sides and talking heads spewed views.
But the young men and their resolute parents fought for the facts, and their lawyers were able to produce compelling evidence that there was no case against their clients . . .
Not only did Nifong do great damage to their lives but to the administration of justice. And he encouraged an atmosphere in which any calm assessment of the facts was seen as a defense of injustice.
Properly, there are calls for reform in North Carolina. One proposal would give the state's top court the authority to remove prosecutors in certain circumstances. Given what we now know, that seems like a good idea.
Yet it provides little solace to three young men looking to reclaim their lives.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Star-Ledger Speaks Out
A powerful editorial in Reade Seligmann's hometown newspaper today, the Star-Ledger (Newark). The paper concluded: