Duke Rape Case: Not So Fast There Mr. Johnson
K.C. Johnson is quite optimistic that with Nifong off the case that the Special Prosecutions Division of the State’s Attorney General’s office will be a good thing.
By contrast, a special prosecutor will undertake a full review of the case—conducting, as Coleman noted, the “kind of thorough investigation Nifong should have done to determine whether there is any basis to go forward.”
I’m not so sure. This article in the WaPo doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence that the charges will be dismissed.
RALEIGH, N.C., Jan. 13 — North Carolina’s attorney general on Saturday promised a “careful and deliberate review” of the sexual abuse case against three Duke lacrosse players but noted that “anything can happen,” even new charges, as his office reviews the evidence.
New charges?!?! Seriously? Against Nifong or the accuser?
Longtime prosecutor Jim Coman, who is the head of the NC Attorney General’s Special Prosecution Unit, as well as the former head of the SBI lab, and Mary Winstead will be the primary attorneys assigned to the case, according to Cooper. Promising to seek truth and justice while respecting all those involved, Cooper stated that the special prosecutors would approach the case with eyes wide open on evidence and closed to everything else.
If the hoax proceeds to trial, it will not be Coman’s first attempt at placing innocent men behind bars. In 2003, despite the revelation that prosecutors David Hoke and Debra Graves withheld evidence that exonerated Alan Gell of murder charges that had sent him to death row, Coman decided to put Mr. Gell on trial for a second time. Later Coman would testify at the State Bar trial of Hoke and Graves to the effect that withholding evidence was standard policy in the Attorney General’s office.
Overall, this suggests to me that the State’s AG and his appointees might not see dismissal as the most prudent route.