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Monday, May 1st 2006

Get Nifong Out of Here

A Duke player defense attorney files a motion to have Nifong removed from the Duke lacrosse rape case.

“They don’t want to go up against me,” Nifong said when asked outside court Monday about the defense request for his removal. He has denied any political motivation behind his aggressive investigation.

In one of several motions filed Monday, defense attorney Kirk Osborn, who represents indicted lacrosse player Reade Seligmann, wrote of Nifong: “He created an actual conflict between his professional duty to search for the truth and his personal, vested interest in getting elected.”

Also, Slate trashes Nifong’s unethical performance. Seeking election over justice.

As Nifong’s case began to collapse, having publicly dug himself in, the district attorney did what electoral victory seemed to demand: Bush-like, he not only stayed the course but actually ratcheted up the pressure on the players. First he executed seemingly frivolous search warrants, and then, in the most egregious ethical lapse of the case, he dispatched police officers to the dorms where the lacrosse players lived—players who were represented by counsel—in an attempt to procure statements from them. And, of course, Nifong sought and secured indictments against two players, charging each with rape and kidnapping. After all that, in a move reminiscent of Rudy Giuliani, he refused to let the defendants voluntarily surrender, insisting instead on an arrest with no legal purpose beyond more tough-guy posturing and obvious perp-walk photo ops.

The Durham area goes to the polls tomorrow in the Democratic primary for the district attorney office.