✔✔✔✔✔ Michael Nifong needs no introduction. Durham District Attorney in 2006, he falsely accused three white members of the Duke lacrosse team of raping a black stripper at a house party, roiling town and campus alike. The players were declared "innocent" by the state Attorney General and they are now suing. Nifong was later stripped of his law license, sent to jail for a symbolic one day for criminal contempt of court; today he's morally if not financially bankrupt as he claimed.
And now his elected successor, District Attorney Tracey Cline, is under fire for very similar conduct: misstating facts to judges and failing to provide evidence favorable to defendants as required by North Carolina law.
Part one of a three part series called "Twisted Truth" in the News and Observer on Sunday says Cline is under investigation in at least six cases.
Example: Cline stated to a judge that the state crime lab was to blame for years of delay in tests on crucial evidence in a burglary and home invasion prosecution. In fact, the newspaper reported, Cline waited more than three years to submit the evidence to the lab.
And when the evidence was finally tested, none of it matched the defendant.
Another example: a judge found that Cline and a deputy violated the rights of a man charged in the death of a two-year-old girl. Result: the defendant was set free when the judge found that prosecutors deliberately withheld information they were obliged to give the defense under North Carolina law.
"I would not sit in a courtroom and lie. I wouldn’t," Cline told the newspaper in an email message. "That is not who I am. And anybody that knows me will tell you that. But people make mistakes.’"
Here's a link. This is Pulitzer Prize stuff: