Prosecutor Michael Nifong, the district attorney who bungled the Duke University lacrosse rape case, was disbarred today. A disciplinary committee of the North Carolina Bar Association found he violated numerous rules of conduct in his faulty prosecution of the players. Nifong was disbarred for actions involving “dishonesty, fraud, deceit and misrepresentation.”
Nifong investigated allegations that members of the Duke lacrosse team had beaten and raped a stripper at a party in March 2006. Although he had evidence to the contrary, he continued to pursue the criminal matter and withheld some evidence from defense attorneys. In January, the State’s Attorney General took over the matter and removed Nifong as prosecutor in the case. The North Carolina Attorney General later dropped the charged against the athletes.
Yesterday, Nifong volunteered to resign as a district attorney altogether. Today he was disbarred.
Nifong’s case is just another reminder that our system of justice will not tolerate a rogue prosecutor, at least not when he’s been caught red-handed. More legal proceedings in are yet to follow, however. The players’ attorneys have pledged to seek criminal contempt charges and a civil suit is fairly likely.