Saturday, December 23, 2006

Calling Al Sharpton

The lab, DNA Security of Burlington, found during tests performed last April that not only did the DNA not match the three defendants, but that it also did not belong to any of their lacrosse teammates or anyone else who submitted DNA samples to police, including the accuser's boyfriend. Those findings were not turned over to the defense until October, when District Attorney Mike Nifong's office turned over thousands of case-related documents.

The DNA evidence that does not instantly convict must in turn, be repressed, lest someone think that the accused are innocent. Or so thinks District Attorney Mike Nifong. After it hit the presses that Nifong colluded with management of the DNA lab to conceal exculpatory evidence, the case continues to disintegrate, to the point that it's starting to resemble the Tawana Brawley incident.

Nifong said in court papers the accuser told an investigator Thursday she is no longer certain whether she was penetrated vaginally with the men's penises during the alleged March 13 attack, as she had claimed earlier. Without any "scientific or other evidence independent of the victim's testimony" to corroborate that aspect of the case, he said, there is "insufficient evidence to warrant prosecution" for rape.

Now, something terrible may have happened to the young lady in question, but continuing a prosecution with nothing more that scattered and inconsistent testimony smacks more of malicious intent more that upholding the rights of all the citizens involved.

Charges of sexual offense and kidnapping remain, but District Attorney Mike Nifong for the first time admitted weakness in his case: "The state is unable to meet its burden of proof with respect to this offense," he wrote.

D.A. Nifong must be beside himself that he had to drop the Forcible Rape charges against those three, white, college boys. As the case goes forward, it's getting weaker and weaker. When it finally crumbles, Nifong should be fitted for an orange jumpsuit himself.

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