The Legacy of Michael Nifong


Soon after prosecutor Michael Nifong was disbarred by the North Carolina Bar Association, the National District Attorneys Association issued its take on the case. “Nifong’s case is rarer than human rabies,” claimed Joshua Marquis, vice president of the group. “The defense bar is piling on and trying to claim this is typical behavior,” he bitterly complained.


So was Michael Nifong merely a “rogue” prosecutor, a feckless bad-apple amidst a scented orchard of ethical and civic-minded district attorneys?

Let’s take rape, for example. Experience reveals that rape is a red-meat accusation that triggers an aggressive prosecution.

You may remember the 1989 rape of the Central Park jogger and the accusation that five “wilding” teenagers had perpetrated the attack. But when the DNA test results did not match, the prosecutor had to claim the semen came from a sixth “mystery” member of the gang. Despite that dubious explanation, the five were convicted.

Read More