Thursday, December 28, 2006
Regular blog readers know that there has been an extraordinary amount of controversy regarding the conduct of Durham (NC) District Attorney Mike Nifong in the prosecution of members of the Duke lacrosse team for rape and other heinous crimes. Well, the North Carolina bar filed ethics charges against Nifong today "accusing him of saying misleading or inflammatory things to the news media about the athletes under suspicion." Good. Prosecutors everywhere need to know there are some lines that they must not cross. John Hinderaker:
Our criminal justice system reposes a tremendous amount of discretion in prosecutors. When prosecutors are corrupt, like Nifong or Ronnie Earle of Travis County, Texas, who ruined Tom DeLay's public career, the consequences can be devastating.
There is one reform that I think would push prosecutors substantially in the direction of the responsible: We should bar all prosecutors -- state, federal, attorneys general -- from running for any non-prosecutorial public or judicial office for a period of five years after leaving the prosecutor's office.