12/29/06 — Finally, action: There is an ethics issue to investigate in Duke case

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Finally, action: There is an ethics issue to investigate in Duke case

Thursday’s announcement that the N.C. bar is going to look at the conduct of Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong in connection with the Duke lacrosse rape case is not just good news — it is long-overdue good news for anyone who wants to make sure justice truly is blind in North Carolina.

Forget guilt or innocence or outrage on behalf of either of the parties in the case. The truth is, we should have higher standards for how investigations of any kind are handled — for the sake of the victim and the accused.

That way we can get the bad guys rather than simply close cases.

Anyone who thinks Nifong’s ongoing campaign had nothing to do with how he handled the Duke lacrosse rape case has not been paying attention. And the sad fact is, it seems to have worked. How the man got back in office is somewhat of an indictment of how people cast their votes — and how much they research the candidates for whom they vote.

There probably won’t be more than a slap on the wrist for Nifong, and the complaint probably won’t affect his re-election. He will still be the Durham DA when this is over. But if the incident gets even one person to question how future inquiries will be conducted, then it will be worth the hours of debate this case has required.

And enforce the standard for justice in North Carolina.

Published in Editorials on December 29, 2006 11:28 AM